Tiiminjohtaminen

Strategia ja johtamisjärjestelmät

by w4l3XzY3

Harhaanjohtajat – episode #2 – Missio ja Visio

Harhaanjohtajat podcastin toisessa jaksossa puhun missiosta ja visiosta sekä siitä millainen merkitys näillä asioilla on menestyvälle organisaatiolle. Käsittelen podcastissa mitä missiolla tarkoitetaan, miten organisaation missio saadaan kirkastettua ja hahmotettua, johtajan henkilökohtaiset missiot sekä mitä organisaation visiolla tarkoitetaan.

  1. Mikä missiolla tarkoitetaan on (perustehtävä)?
  2. Miten missio kirkastetaan?
  3. Kuinka missiota voi hahmottaa?
  4. Johtajan henkilökohtainen missio.
  5. Visio (tavoitetila).

Palautetta voi antaa lähettämällä sähköpostia poksteri(at)gmail.com tai Twitterin kautta käyttämällä @poksteri kahvaa. Antoisia kuunteluhetkiä.

 

Harhaanjohtajat podcast

Tällä kertaa kirjoitan suomeksi ja kerron Harhaanjohtajat podcastista. Kesälomalla sain ajatuksen tehdä podcastin johtamisesta sekä siihen liittyvistä aiheista. Jos menet iTunesiin ja etsit suomenkielisiä podcasteja, niin tulet löytämään YLE:n tuottamia radio-ohjelmia, radio rockia yms., mutta et kovin montaa yksittäisten henkilöiden tekemiä ohjelmia. Amerikan ihmemaassa asia on toisin ja siellä varmaan löytyy jokaista suomalaista kohden yksi podcastaaja.

Harhaanjohtajat podcastin tarkoituksena on puhua johtamisesta, sillä se on erittäin tärkeä nyt sekä tulevaisuudessa. Johtaminen tai “orkestrointi” on jotain sellaista mitä ei voi ulkoistaa halpamaihin vaan se pitää oppia. Haluan jakaa omia kokemuksia, sekä kertoa niistä asioista mitä itse olen oppinut. Tarkoituksena kantaa oma korteni tähän tärkeään aiheeseen ja jos saan yhdenkin henkilön kuuntelemaan sekä ajattelemaan niin minun työni on tehty.

Ensimmäisessä podcastissa puhun arvoista sekä arvojohtamisesta. Vaikea aihe ja odotan palautettasi:

 

Harhaanjohtajat - logo (1)

Happy organisation

On previous post I wrote about organisation’s habits and behaviours and their benefits for the organisation. At this time I will write about kindness, happiness and leadership. When we are happy at work we will deliver stunning results. But what to do for increasing happiness at organisation?

Empowering people

People want to make some decisions by themselves. When the organisation has a clear mission, clarified values and good habits (processes) in place it is easier to empower people. People at the organisation knows what to do without micro managing and by this way it frees leader’s time to think about future. Empowering means that there is a framework in place where people can act quite freely and make decisions by themselves. When they can make decisions by themselves it will give sense of authority which also support happiness at the organisation.

Empowering and sense of authority can be built by starting from small things. For example people at organisation can design their own uniforms (if the uniforms are part of that business). decorate their cubicles, arrange events and so forth. Empowering works at every level and leaders are also motivated when they have more authority to make decisions.

Treating kindly

One very important thing in building a happy work place is how leaders treat their followers. To put it simply treat kindly and people will be more productive. Usually leaders want to posses strength and competence and they think that kindness is weakness. In fact when treating people kindly and with respect their influence will increase. Those leaders who build their influence by fear and fearsome character they will notice that it will undermine cognitive potential, creativity and problem solving. In short, it builds mediocrity.

If leaders build their influence by focusing on kindness: empathy, warmth, listening and seeking for understanding. Those leaders facilitates trust, communication and absorption of ideas. By acting kindly leaders will connect their followers immediately. When there is the foundation of trust in place it will increase information sharing, openness, fluidity and co-operation. This will help leaders’ work since everyone trust that co-workers do the right thing and there is no need for micro managing.

Happy leader

With the own attitude, mood and posture leader will influence people around him. When leader is happy it will radiate to others. If leader is concerned, anxious or even angry it will spread to others too. That’s why it is important for the leader to make decision to be happy every day, express good attitude and keep the good posture in place. Smile, listen and express empathy. Stay in good posture, stand up right and get ahold yourself. These are very small things to do and they can be practiced every day.

As a summary:

1. empower your people
2. treat your people kindly
3. Be happy.

Organisation and habits

When people read something they will start thinking and usually after thinking they may take an action. When the action is taken regularly it will become a habit and habits will build character. I believe that the same way can be applied to organisations and teams too when developing them.

Food for thoughts

Reading, listening and training are good way to give some ideas to people in the organisations. Sharing interesting articles related to the domain and giving presentations for the team are good way to give some food for the thoughts. A very traditional way to give new ideas and insights are trainings where new things are taught, curated and discussed. Some people may start to think those new things are start applying them to daily work.

Take an action

Some people take action immediately, others need their time for thinking. When they are ready they will take the action and start doing new things. It might be some new way to interact with the customer, team members and so forth. The best way is to reward people when they take the action and achieve small wins. The small wins or victories build the success and it will start a chain reaction that allows other wins to appear. When some action is taken, small wins achieved the same pattern is applied to other areas too. It is rewarding.

Build a habit

When the action has taken it place at organisation and it has been performed regularly it will be the habit. For example factory work may be dangerous and accidents happens time to time. When people are encouraged to take actions that reduces accidents it will be the habit that prevents accidents. The accident paradigm can be applied to software development too, no bugs or build breaks. Software development team is encouraged to take actions that reduces bugs and build breaks. Stop the line is good example of habit which is applied in many industries from automotive to e-commerce and software development. If some employee finds quality problem he or she will stop the line until the quality problem is solved. This is utilised by Toyota, Amazon and other companies which uses lean methods.

Develop a character

Habits definitely build person and organisations which give characteristics for them. This will be part of the organisation’s culture or DNA. Every organisation have their own habits, behaviors and routines. When these are in place they will reduce uncertainty. Repeatable processes are very important aspect when reducing uncertainty. Every organisation has their processes for different functions. They are either written down into the manuals or they are tacit knowledge that is passed to others by an example. If process development is too huge task to do lighter way would be creating routines e.g. regular meetings with different people, check lists for certain operations. The most important thing is to build a habit which brings some success because it will start chain reaction which will bring more good habits in place. Just stay focused, be persistent and empower people to take actions which will improve things.

As a leader, apply following when you want to introduce something new:

  1. Give people something to think: books, SlideShares, blogs that handle the topic at hand.
  2. Empower people to take the action.
  3. Build habits by performing actions regularly e.g. regular follow up meetings etc.
  4. Develop the organisation where habits are built in by processes, routines or check lists.

What is your opinion about building habits in organisations?

Expectations

The last two posts were covering values and mission. When shared values and organisation’s mission are clear then it is time to set expectations for the members of the organisation.

Every leader have their expecations regarding people they lead. Same way all the followers have their expectations about the leaders. It is good to have common understanding what people expects instead of assuming. The good way to set the expectation is to have personal regular one-to-one feedback or coaching sessions. Those sessions are good for getting know each other better and for building trusted relationships. From my experience, it is good to have meeting minutes or memo from the meeting which is shared after the meeting. The memo is also good for reviewing the last sessions action points.

Reviewing how people live with expectations

In the one-to-one discussion it is good to review how people have lived by their expectations. This is also good way to review how leader has lived by expectations. When both parties find out that they have fulfilled expectations then it builds trust and deepen the relationship. Another way round, if neither of parties haven’t lived by expectations it will build distrust between leaders and followers.

Expectations can be easily managed by creating goals for the team members which benefit both employee and organisation. Once in a three month it is good set both goals and expectation and after the three months both are reviewed. When goals are set so that there is expectation component, it will give more clear message for the employee. When both, goals and expectations are met it is easy for example reward the member and the organisation

How did I do it?

I have arranged once in a quarter one-to-one feedback session with my team. In the session we discuss about what has happen during the last three months. We review together how goals were met and then discuss together how next period would look like. This is the moment where expectations are reviewed. If I have expected to have e.g. weekly report how release testing is progressing then we review together is this expectation met. This is good example since if the testing manager needs coaching, the first thing is to manage expectations regarding habits of test manager. Since the habits are in place then we can add more challenge for the next period e.g. how testing efforts are managed to get more test coverage etc. This can be easily applied to different context where people are coached.

What do you think about expectations and managing them?

Mission and Leadership

In the previous post I wrote about values and their importance for the organisation. Another, essential element for the organisation is its mission. Every organisation has its mission and some organisations have defined, communicated and understood it clearly. When mission is clear for every member of the organisation, it helps leaders’ work. The mission is the organisation’s basic function which delivers the value to its stakeholders or customers.

What to do if organisation’s mission is not clear?

If the mission is not clear to the organisation people start to questioning every task they do. “Why are we doing this? This is just purposeless job to do? I don’t know? I don’t care. Someone else will do this, not me.” These are symptoms of missionless organisation. People don’t understand the connection of their task to the organisation’s basic function. In this case, it is leader’s job to clarify the mission and find the answer for the question: “Why this organisation exists?”. It is easy to start and the mission is easy to find. When mission is clear then it should be communicated clearly and kept in mind all the time by all the people.

Leader’s own mission

Like own values, it is good for the leader to understand own mission when executing basic function in different roles. The leader should have own mission for individual (self), father or mother, community member and for the leader. When the basic principles are clear for the leader it helps in leading others. When leader knows his or her mission as a leader it will help in developing others and organisations to grow.

For the leaders own sake it is important to have balance in life and that is why mission as a father or mother is something that can’t be forgotten. For me it is important to know what is my mission as a father and how am I able to cope with demanding work and without exhausting myself and neglecting my family.

Have you ever thought about your own mission as a leader or thought about the mission of the organisation where you work at? Think about what is the basic or principle function in your organisation which brings the most of its value.

Values and Leadership

I have been working over one year in a leadership position at Finnish technology company and it has been eyes opening experience. When working at company’s top management it forces to think leadership more deeply. In this post I want to share my thoughts about values, own values, organisation’s values and values of different people.

Understanding the importance of values starts with understanding own values. What do you value? Do you value beauty, courage, growth, happiness, power, truth or wisdom? This is short list of examples what people value and those values guides people and organisation to different decisions and actions.

Finding own values may take time, but it also helps in leading others. Since you are aware of your own values and have courage to discuss about them with others, it will help you on your work as a leader. The good organisations have shared values and they are usually find by very simple action: discussion. The values are easily found by having sessions where team members have opportunity to tell what they value. After a while or sessions it is easy to find shared values which are in place at organisations.

Living by values. The leaders need to live by their values and when organisation has shared values in place, those must be respected by the all. Strong values builds strong organisations and cultures. The good organisation culture may affect very positively to company’s financial results and overall value. An excellent example is Zappos, where strong values and culture have help it to grow from start-up to multi-billion dollar company.

The company values and culture had big role in its success. When everyone knows what are the values in organisation it helps to make correct decisions and actions without concerns. If values are respected and organisation culture is built on those, it will lure right people to company and spit out those who don’t fit. In general with shared values and good company culture will help leader in their challenges.

Testing service potential with “Landing Pages”

How to test an idea and get some feedback with small resources? Good way to test the product or service hypothesis is to create simple landing page that tells the idea’s value proposition. The simple landing page is not enough, since we need to get visitors to the site. The cheapest way to get visitors is to tune the site with SEO keywords and sitemap information.

devicestack_web

Search engine bots use that information indexing the page and its relevancy. Unfortunately gaining visitors only by SEO takes time and site content must be “lively”. The fastest way to gain visitors is to use SEM, search engine marketing, and spend e.g. 7€/day in advertising. By this way two things are achieved: visitors to the site and the quality of keywords. Good keywords generate more traffic and bad keywords less.

 

Measuring

Google Analytics is excellent tool for tracking visitors and their behavior on the site. It provides good insight where people are coming and what they do on the site. Statistics and analytics are very important in web-services. Without them it is impossible to know what people are doing and how they use product or service. With statistics it is easier to change things and measure those changes. The basic elements of “simple landing page” are: the page itself tuned with SEO, SEM and Analytics

 

Examples

This is one way how services are launched world-wide. Ideas are tested with landing pages and search engine marketing where different search terms are tested and analyzed. Good tool for this is Google AdWords. Usually landing pages gathers potential customers’ e-mail addresses e.g. “sign-up for free beta”. This gives also insight about the demand: if there are lots of sign-ups, the idea may be good. For example Dropbox has tested the idea with simple landing page and gathering E-mails of potential users. By the SEM it is easy to direct traffic to the site and amount of visitors can be adjusted by SEM budget. More money, more visitors.

Stories tell that several start-ups in US have done the initial testing by this method and they have spent under $10/day for SEM. Then they tell to the world that they have gained hundreds of beta testers to their service and are sure about its success. 

DeviceStack

I wanted to learn how this kind of approach works in real life and we created landing page for our new service idea. The DeviceStack is service for mobile developers who need to test how their application works in different devices. Our hypothesis is that there are huge amount of Android devices on the market and that is problem for developers. This service helps application developers in verifying their applications in different devices with different characteristics (screen sizes, performance etc.).

So we need to test this hypothesis and one way to test the potential is to use landing page, SEO and SEM. We have learnt so far something about user demographics, which keywords work best, conversion to beta sign-up and copy of the site.