Friday, January 18, 2013

Do you want to help make the world GREAT?

A great world is not a perfect world. A great world is a place where we pursue perfection with the sober-mindedness to know it is unattainable but we pursue anyway.  I know its a contradiction...that's why it's so powerful.  A great world is a place in which goods and services, products, and information are shared for "mutual benefit" in love. It's the only way that works and sustains. Want proof?  Russia tried to establish an a-moral free market and they have corruption, organized crime, systemic alcoholism and prostitution.  What the world needs is a "free market" that has a moral compass. America was leading this but even here it is in decline.  But enough talk. Let's get started.

To make the world GREAT we need great people and great companies and organizations.  We have just launched "The Foundation for Excellence in Faith and Work"-  a non-profit that will accomplish three key goals that align perfectly with the world BECOMING GREAT!  Please check out our site, its goals and see if you align.  If you do..please give, as little as $5 and as much as $100,000!

If you thinks it's worthy cause please share this post and our Facebook and Google+ pages as well.

We need you... will you help? Go here   Thank you. May you be blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Global Leadership Summit 2012

Last Thursday and Friday (Aug 10,11, 2012) I attended The Global Leadership Summit  at a satellite location here in Minnesota. 

The Willow Creek Association did a great job as usual. Bill Hybels is an amazing leader and did tremendous job presenting really high quality content and Guests from Jim Collins of Good to Great to Condaleeza Rice to Patrik Lencioni  and many others.  All were very inspirational and informative.

But if you are an emerging company and really aspire to excellence you came away with a nagging question:

Welcome to Becoming Great!  We specialize in helping emerging companies with viable product or services, to fulfill their potential in the marketplace.  Our 40 + collective years of success can be brought to bear with out consulting  model that we've constructed from our own analysis of Jim Collins' work studying greatness.

From finding the RIGHT people, to discovering your organization's core purpose and REAL values, to creating  and implementing the people systems that get your there, we help companies become great!

Why? Because the world needs more great companies...don't you think?

Check us out on LinkedIN to learn about us and visit our web site. To get started on the journey, contact me  or call Jeff  651-492-8540 or or call Paul-612-244-1154

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great By Choice

I am in the process of reading Jim's new book, "Great by Choice" .   Here is my short review.

Love it. Buy it.

This book is for Owners and Presidents specifically.  I am using it as a coaching tool. Lots of really great examples and facts that should instruct and lead a CEO or President.  Lots of what he talks about is a drill-down into the character of a Level 5 leader.   Most of his examples in the book focus specifically on success from the perspective of the Leader.  Leading is all about the destination folks.  Pure and Simple.

Vision is the destination corporately.  Peak Performance is the destination individually.

My Consulting Model is proving very effective in helping you construct an organization that can go from great.


Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Results are in on Core Purpose and Core Values

The verdict on my testing and proving out one of the key principles of Jim Collins books. 

In the book "Good to Great", and his other books Jim Collins talks about the power of this principle: Preserve the Core, Stimulate Progress.  For most of my adult life and for the last 8 years in my consulting practice I have been putting this idea into practice with the companies I have worked with as Consultant, Owner and Employee.  Especially in these last 8 years as my practice has grown and I have been using in the building of healthy, effective organizations.


I write the above in caps because for some reason leaders in the marketplace don't seem to believe it.  In these uncertain times especially, this single principle can be the difference between survival and failure.  If the principle is applied correctly, (like in selecting and managing people and in crafting a work environment), it moves the business forward. But even if you understand and apply just as you see it here, it may be the difference that keeps you going.
The core of your business comes from, understanding why you do it.  This is true of your department if you are a manager, but it is especially true if you own or operate the company.  Understanding why you are in business, that core, ongoing outcome or contribution your company or non-profit delivers in the marketplace, keeps you grounded when things are whirling around and you are being buffeted by the winds of change and uncertainty.

Collins calls this your organization's Core Purpose and so do I.  I also have found that the same principle is found in each of us as individuals. (Go here to learn more.)
In this world of constant uncertainty it is steadying and empowering for your company or non-profit to develop a Core Purpose.  See my post about Missions to see the difference.
Core Values are the other significant part of the core.  Core Values are the principles that support the Core Purpose and must also be from the Founder or owner.  In the absence of the Founder co-founders or long-term employees are great sources.  (This is all assuming the company or non-profit has had a period of effectiveness that has perhaps waned over time.  The effective period was when these values were being practiced but never codified.)  A great board of directors can also be a good source.  Btw, it the BOARD'S responsibility to preserve the Core Purpose and Values, and good ones do this well. 
These two provide the core of an organization, and are the foundation that keep it steady and true over the years.  If you read Built to Last, another Collins book, this becomes very evident.
But most organizations never record and authenticate their REAL values, so they wither and die. Capturing them and memorializing them, drives excellence in ways that other posts in this blog point out.

So after EIGHT YEARS of testing out the Good to Great principles, I can say without any hesitation that this one is the REAL DEAL and almost "magical".

Friday, April 27, 2012

Why Mission Statements Aren't Enough

Many organizations have very well written mission statements yet, in many cases their performance has waned over time.  For some reason the people they are hiring and who have been there just aren't as engaged with that idea as others were before.  

The reason could be "mission accomplished".     A Mission is achievable.  We went to the moon and returned safely to the earth, as John Kennedy asked us to.  This took 7 years. Mission accomplished.  After that mission was accomplished the budget was slashed and NASA drifted until the Shuttle program which was key in the mission of establishing the International Space Station, this took another 15 years.  Mission Accomplished.  Budget slashed. 

Missions once they are accomplished lose their power and when new people come in they are not jazzed.  And if it is too specific about how we achieve it,  for example, and conditions change, (like er ah 2008?), a well intended mission falls flat.

While missions (who, what, how, when) which are  essentially really BIG goals,  are important, they are unsustainable as the examples above show.  Becoming Great Companies, are purpose driven and Vision ":focused".  These two are the alpha and omega of the becoming great process. As the Collins study points out in his vast research, a great Core Purpose should last 100 years.  And a great Core Purpose along with the actual Core Values should -drive collective and individual decision-making if they are properly constructed. (ask me about this as this very important.) A well written Core Purpose will guide a company or organization (or an individual) for a 100 years or more. 

Walt Disney was asked why he was in business- "My business is making people, especially children, happy." —Walt Disney

This is no mission statement. It is a CORE PURPOSE which almost 80 years later, still drives the Disney organization.

Vision on the other hand focuses the strategic plans of your organization. Since strategies are broad and directional, they should point the organization at the "Everest" as Jim Collins calls it, the VISION. 

And the Vision should be a clear concise statement of that ultimate, with a vivid detailed description of what it will be like when we arrive, NOT how to get there, the ultimate "state".

Carry on.....

Jeff Pelletier

Friday, December 09, 2011

Why Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) Work

Why Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) Work

Outcome Based Job Descriptions (c) are a key to effective organizations but if you don't do them with the right understanding they will NOT give you the effectiveness you seek. 

Now I will not go into the mechanics of how to write them as it would require too long a post. But here are the reasons and understanding required. 

OBJD's work because of human nature.  People are naturally teleological, goal oriented, SEEKING beings.  This is just a fact.  

It turns out, wink-wink, that Abraham Maslow is right. 

If you are hungry you automatically seek---------

If you are thirsty you automatically seek-----

If you are lonely, you automatically seek--------

If you feel bad, you automatically seek ------

BF Skinner way back in the day, proved that people seek pleasure and avoid pain.  But you can also restate that people seek "relief" from pain, so even pain is seeking driven.  

Maslow identified the graduated nature of our seeking with his hierarchy. 
All of this great research was true then and is true now.  

So why then do leaders and managers not utilize this stuff they all studied in management and psyche 101?  Because they get lost in the whirl-wind, as Covey has come to call it, and they seem to focus on people as a MEANS.  "I need people to DO these things for me so I can get work done."

The problem with this mindset is that fundamentally it looks at people as just another part of the business "schematic" a "human resource" like widgets or ingredients or material and frankly when you approach them that way you dumb them down and get less than you really want from them.  (Land and Labor and Capital.)

This is the main cause of mediocrity in organizations.  Instead of giving people a "responsibility" as Jim Collins we give them task lists of stuff to DO. We may add "responsibilities" too but these are usually veiled lists as well.  This is all an attempt to manage people people by management fiat and to do so before the fact..  Duh!!!!  There was a time about 40 years ago when this was effective. But that was back when the world was pretty static, and writing them that way worked, for the most part. But in THIS world, the world of the last 20 years, in this world of continuous improvement, this model does not work. Truth is, all it ever produced was mediocrity.  

But lets move on.....

People have talents and skills.

When these talents and skills are pointed at business outcomes they get accomplished if these talents are pointed at outcomes that match those skills, people become self-managing to very large degree.

The key is to clearly, with crystal clarity, define the desired outcome in a -"value-added" way. In a previous post I have defined value-added specifically as "that which moves the organization forward".  Non value added outcomes are therefore "muda" or waste, and should be eliminated.  And what happens with aligned people, that is, when you hire talented people, who also align with your core values and purpose, and point them at what you want them to accomplish for you, things rise to a new level. It is a game changer.

If your job outcomes are crafted in an ultimate way, if they describe your VISION (with clarity) for the contribution the job makes, you have it figured out. 

In this environment, (OBJD and the RIGHT people)  you get continuous improvement, pointed at the achievement of well defined outcomes THAT REFLECT WHAT YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO BECOME!

Look out baby!

OBJD is a key outcome of my consulting model.  To find out more

Jeff Pelletier


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Becoming Great with the Right People

I 've written about it before.  The Right people are the most important asset your organization has.  But finding the right people is the key. Here is recent Wall Street Journal Article that deals with why some companies have trouble with this idea.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Struggle

Becoming great is a no big deal right?  Of the thousands of  companies studied in all three Collins' studies,  only a handful were determined to have risen above the general category of "Good" to be becoming great.  

The reason I care about greatness is the great companies understood some stuff about people, and leading and organization and focus and purpose, values and vision---which you can learn about how to do in detail by searching these words right here in this blog and by visiting .     

My personal calling is to help people and organizations to fulfill their potential.  But I also believe the world DESERVES  more great companies.  Consumers need and deserve the products and services that great companies create.  And employees and managers need the wonderful experience of spending the 60% of their awake time they spend at work,  working at a great company.  

Becoming great is a struggle....don't do it alone. 

Jeff Pelletier

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Three Outcomes that fight against mediocrity

Does your organization suffer from the onset of mediocrity? 

Let us deliver these three outcomes and help you bring life to your organization.  Vision--Process--Purpose are your hedge against the descent into mediocrity that no business can afford, especially in this economy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On Becoming Great! Culture and Values---whassup?-

Almost every organization has two organizational dynamics-  They have Operating Values--- and they have an Organizational Culture.  The Operational Values are at work mostly towards the customer, and to a large degree towards one another.  Organizational Culture is usually about how and to what extent authority is shared, how decisions are made and the focus and freedom people have within the context of their day to day life.  To the degree that there is a disconnect between these two, 
there is a problem with organizational "effectiveness."  

There are four types of organizational cultures-

  • Power
  • Position (role)
  • Work (task)
  • People

Power-  This organization is mainly “leader” based. The person in charge is most important. It is a “productive” environment. People are busy.  Personal loyalty from subordinates is key. Committees, if they exist, are highly structured and the chairperson rules. . Change happens quickly but not always efficiently and at the behest of the leader. Employees are not very well informed beyond the “moment.” Top-down decision-making is the norm. Influencing of outcomes is based mostly on who has authority, power or dominance in the group regardless of title or job description. The only crossover of work groups by individuals would be initiated by the mandate of the leader. The main concern is for those in charge.  Some entrepreneurial organizations would fit this orientation, e.g. New businesses, start-ups, crisis centers, some military organizations.
Position (Role)-  This organization operates mainly from the organizational chart. It is an “efficient” high maintenance environment based on a sense of order and commitment.  Loyalty is to the whole, and work is performed out of a sense of duty.  Top-down decision-making is the norm. Rank, title and departmental function rule, and there is very little crossover. Committees are valuable as part of the structure. Change occurs slowly. Employees are informed if they “need to know” based on their position or title. Outcomes are influenced based on rules, policies and by which department or job title has responsibility for a task or outcome. The main concern is for order, status quo in policy and structure and for the organization as a whole.   Some “institutions” use this ideology, e.g. government agencies, universities, institutions, military, unions.

Work (Task)-  This organization operates based on the premise that the work itself is what’s important.  The emphasis is more on doing “good work” and less on who does it or whose job it is. It is a “high achievement” environment.  Loyalty to the “work” is the driving force. Committee’s are non existent except to form a temporary work group in accomplishing some task. Change occurs quickly but only based on need. Information is free flowing and is seen as critical to getting the job done. Decisions can be made across a wide variety of ranks and departments, as the most important thing is to do the job well.  There is lots of crossover and teamwork.  Outcomes are influenced by a sense of mission, vision and what needs to be done. Leadership is based on what a person knows and can do. Who the leader is might vary based on the task at hand.  Most high performing teams and organizations employ some degree of “task-orientation.”

People-  This organization operates based upon a high regard for people and their welfare.  The emphasis is on what people need and how best to provide them with it. It is a high support environment. Loyalty and affection to “one another” are the driving forces. Committee’s are like clubs. Information is free flowing but is usually highly personal and meant to empower support.  Decisions are made collectively, democratically, or in groups, while always maintaining and improving relationship. There may be group efforts but “getting along” during the effort will be very important. Outcomes are measured based on how they help the people. Leadership is consensual. Examples would be some Churches, Fraternal Clubs and Organizations, Benevolent Organizations, Support Groups.   

Most organizational cultures are a set of TWO of these with one dominant. 
 Fore Example- The Catholic Church is a Power-Role culture. YET it's operating values have very much to do with loving and caring for the members.  But its organizational culture is hierarchical and very much role based.  The US government is this way as well. Of, by and for the people.  But organizationally Role-Power.

I have a client who is Customer Intimate, who also has a Power-Role organizational culture. 

Does this disconnect impact effectiveness?....yes it does.  The main ingredient in reconciling the two dynamics is TRUST, which can be overcome in most cases.  When I work with your organization we will determine if this disconnect exists, (it usually does), because we will work to eliminate the gap between them.  A gap between Operating Values and Organizational structure comes from that which is "dysfunctional" in how we relate to each other.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coaching- Another step in Becoming Great!

I call the day to day process of managing people,  Coaching.  There are many people who have the title Coach, and they perform this function in a variety of ways, with varying styles.  What I am referring to in this post is someone in a supervisory position. This method of management is not new, and I make no claims to proprietary methodology, in fact you are most likely well aware of the process that I have come to call and use as "Coaching".  Whether you are a CEO or Team Leader or a Project Manager, this method of management works, and it works in tandem with a Leadership model I will write about in another post.
The power of good management is not understood and appreciated in general, and great management is very rare.  Most of what passes for management is effective because the underlying message is or is perceived as--"or else".  When this perception is at work, the BEST you can hope for is "compliance", but never ever, excellence.

“Business is about people”- Jack Welch
“If it weren’t for people, management wouldn’t be so difficult.”- Jeff Pelletier

Coaching definition- the art of providing the day-to-day direction and feedback that cause success in people.

Management- is the art of getting things done ...through (by means of) people.

Coaching is an aspect or component of management. It is a Management SKILL that is used to do the WORK of management - Planning Directing and Controlling.  The skills of management are
REDIRECTING (chronic performance problems)
TERMINATION (for non-performance)

So to do the work of management- the above skills are required and at a highly competent level if management (getting things done through people) is to be truly effective.
So lets talk about Coaching.

My Coaching model is based in Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson's book, "The One Minute Manager."

This simple but powerful book was originally writen as THE way to manage people. It is not, but it is a great way to Coach your people, if its used that way, and I recommend that you do.

Situational Leadership and the One Minute Manager  was written later to bring the fullness of leadership and management together.  
Coaching using the OMM model works like this-
One Minute Goals are behavioral and measurable performance expectations given to a subordinate, that are within the context of their day to day job, that if achieved get the job done and make an incremental improvement in the person's performance.  Used this way, with selected people, especially recent trainees or with a recent process change, OMG's can really help you to "sustain the gain", which is one of management's biggest problems.

But because management is a contact sport- you don't just set the expectation and leave it at that. You must observe and remain "in touch" with the person throughout the day, and let them know you will be doing so.

Feedback is the key to Coaching-  and the OMM model is perfect for this. As you check back and observe the expected performance the idea is to "catch the person doing it right."   This is why management is a contact sport. Timing is very important here. You must be deliberate in both observing performance, and in the timing of the feedback.   If you are, you will "seat" the new performance and sustain the gain, This will occur especially if after you explain what the person did, how you feel about what they did (to achieve the goal), and set that new performance as the expectation, which you then reinforce the next day, with feedback.

These two components if done well, are the CREAM of the OMM system. Because if you "Select Winners" (the proces for which I have written about extensively), you will only need to do these two, most of the time. Great people usually don't require reprimands, even though One Minute Reprimands are very effective.  But as I said most great people are usually first to admit their mistakes and "repent" whicb is the goal of a One Minute Reprimand.  But in those cases when someone under-performs or just flat out "blows it", you should follow up with a OMR.  (So we NEVER reprimand a new learner.) In those cases, tell the person what they did wrong or did not do at all.  Tell them how you feel about what they did, give them a second to think about that ---then set them back up to win, and follow-through (OMP)  when they do!

These three components of the One Minute Manager process, when used as a day to day coaching process to drive incremental improvement, are extremely effective skills that are part of the Management Series we teach to our client companies.  Email to learn how the Management Series can help your company.

Jeff Pelletier, Chief Effectiveness Officer
Becoming Great! Enterprises, LLC

Monday, May 30, 2011

On-Becoming Great! The Selection Process and Non Profits-

There is a myth that somehow non-profits are not as effective as their for-profit counterparts.  I call this a myth because it is fundamentally untrue.  The failure rate of non-profits and for-profits are almost identical.  Conversely what causes success is very much the same also. In both cases the RIGHT people are key and are the beginning of becoming great.

But the right people can only be found with a strong leader who is willing to instill a rigorous selection process that will match people first with the Core Purpose and Values and then to the job outcomes that cause success.  The West Suburban Teen Clinics are such an example.

At the request of Executive Director Leah Hebert I recently initiated "The Selection Process" a comprehensive "Becoming Great" program that teaches hiring managers to find the RIGHT people for job openings that occur in the organization.  Leah understands, to her credit, that her and her department heads' effectiveness as leaders and managers is to fundamental degree a result of the Competence, Character and Chemistry (c) of the people they select to work there.  We conducted a three and one-half hour seminar which was followed up by a certification test designed to improve retention of the training her people received.

Based on the work Leah has done in identifying WSTC's Core Purpose, and Core Values, and her commitment to "Selection", the future looks bright at West Suburban Teen Clinics.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On Becoming Great! To Build Trusted Brands

This  above title is the Core Purpose of a Sales and Marketing company called The Village Company. No, not the Village People, The Village Company.   I can remember working with Frank Klasanich, President and CEO and going through this process of identifying the Core Purpose of the company.  As you read about the companies in Jim Collins book "Good to Great -Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don't",  one of the key traits was a core purpose and core values. In my consulting practice one area I focus on is helping the organizations I work with to discover their core purpose.  (Notice I said discover.) A company's core purpose is its driving force, it focuses its work, and it is its primary, long-term on-going outcome and should last 100 years according to Collins' study.  I'm testing the study in the marketplace to see if Collins is right. So far the results are great. So as Frank was thinking through the core purpose idea, he kept coming back to the concept of what he called "the love spot", that the products (they sell personal care products) should touch the consumer in a way that made them connect emotionally.  This idea blossomed and grew into trust.  Today,  The Village Company's  Core Purpose is "To Build Trusted Brands". This guides their product development, their acquisitions (they purchased Mr Bubble), and helps them to make decisions about how they market and advertise.  They are in a growth curve that is quite impressive because they let that purpose work FOR them and the team there lives it out.  But the reason that core purpose works for them is that it essentially was already there... we just discovered it.  Does your company or non-profit have a Core Purpose?  It should.

Jeff Pelletier

Friday, March 25, 2011

Becoming Great!

Becoming Great Enterprises, LLC

Helping you to become great!
The Selection Process= The RIGHT People
The Right People are the most important asset of your organization.
         The components of the RIGHT person:
        Competence- skill and aptitude
        Character- values and personality-  Quantify THESE.
        Chemistry-  you want to work with this person
        Motivated to work HERE!
        Like it or not, you are hiring the WHOLE person.
The Selection Process is:
         Anticipate Needs- Hiring “triggers”
         Understand the “Job Outcomes” and Core Competencies (Values as Practiced)
         Recruit-  Targeted not broadcast
         Review Resume’ and Application-  look for inconsistencies and patterns
         Phone screen for “competence”-  “mine” the resume` and application.
         Prepare your questions from the answers. –  measure Competence and Character and Chemistry- “the best indicator of future performance is past performance.”:
         Face to Face-  Competence Character and Chemistry
         Face to Face- Competence Character and Chemistry.
         Assess and Rate the candidates
         Check references
         Make Selection
         Make the offer-
         Close the offer

I bring the whole package to your organization. -  If you implement and develop the consistency that comes from this process you will have a higher and higher concentration of the right people in your organization.  “It’s easier to hire the right person than it is to train the wrong one.”  This process diminishes the subjectivity that causes failure.

More than a seminar- The Selection Process.-  contact us to implement this now!

Jeff Pellletier-Chief Effectiveness Officer

Program is flexed to your specific needs- 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why Organizations Fail at Becoming Great!

This is a great article that talks very plainly about the main causes of failure of organizations.  You will notice that the vast number of failures are the result of internal problems within management's control.  In short it is about people, causing problems, failing to solve them, or generally making poor decisions.

Go here to read the whole story.
After you read it,  go here to learn how we can help you to avoid this fate.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On Becoming Great!- Achieving Effectiveness



Degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are resolved. In contrast to efficiency, effectiveness is determined without reference to costs and, whereas efficiency means "doing the thing right," effectiveness means "doing the right thing."

I want to draw your attention to the "inner circle"  This is the CORE of effectiveness-

Relationships-  This is all about the RIGHT people in the right spot- The right people fit three criteria-
  • Competence- Can they do the job? Have they done the job?
  • Character- Do they think like us?  Share our values? Have our "action" priorities?
  • Chemistry- Do I want to work with this person?  Do I like the person? Do I want to spend time with this person?

Clarity- Specific expectations about what you want people to ACCOMPLISH for you. The right people don't need to be told  how to do their job if they fit the above criteria.  But they do want to know what they need to accomplish.  Be crystal clear about that- I have created  a performance management system that is based on OUTCOMES.

Commitment-  People must align with the Core Purpose of the organization-  A Core Purpose is a succinct statement of the reason we are in business and it and the values drive our decision-making. I have a system for identifying  your actual CORE purpose and values-- not the ones on the wall.

Execution- Training\Learning is critical.  Standard work that is pointed at the OUTCOMES.  An improvement process (Kaizen) that makes things better. 

If you have these core components in place the rest is almost axiomatic.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hiting the NEXT Wall- On Becoming Great!

Previously I wrote about how startups hit the wall .   But there is another wall that you can come to perhaps 2-3 years after you've overcome the first one.  When organizations hit the second wall, they tend to coast.  The second wall is called "Pretty Good".  "Pretty Good" occurs when the results of entering the Becoming Great!TM  process start to become normalized to some degree. Perhaps the company has great people, their return on investment is much better. They can feel the momentum building. And here is the killer....finances are better, significantly.

This is a dangerous place if your goal is to become GREAT!  Great means you lead your segment, you are outperforming almost every business as a return on sales, that you are the "standard" in how you operate, that people are asking you to make speeches and you can plainly see the excellence in your organization. In short your organization is making the difference.

What can happen is that people get to "pretty good" and that becomes good enough.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Becoming Great!- The Big Picture

Vision is the pulling force of your organization- A well defined vision statement, with a clearly articulated Vivid Description of what the organization will be like when it arrives at this vision, are indispensable.   When The Sony Corporation declared in 1954 that it would  become the company most know for changing the worldwide image of Japanese products as being of poor quality.  This is a vision statement.

The Vivid Description paints the picture:

We will create products that become pervasive around the world .... We will be the first Japanese company to go into the American market and distribute directly . . . . We will succeed with innovations like the transistor radio that American com­panies have failed at .... fifty years from now, our brand-name will be as well known as any on Earth . . . and will signify innovation and quality that rivals the most innovative com­panies anywhere . . . . “Made in Japan” will mean something fine, not shoddy.

When I work with you, we will begin with the organizations core purpose, and core values- these two already exist, we just need to articulate them.

But over time, there will emerge a vision, and one of the best ways to get to vision, is to look at your Core Purpose and Core Values and ask:  what will this organization naturally become, as we let this purpose and these value "inform" our decision-making.

Finding the RIGHT people who align with this Core Ideology is the next key step in transformation.

Monday, May 03, 2010

On Becoming Great!- Why Are You in Business?

If you own a business it is vital that you know why you are in business. Your business' Core Purpose should tell you.   Your purpose is not your mission statement- in fact I am against mission statements per se`. I am a Good to Great practioner, if you go to my consulting web site Becoming Great you can see the entirety of how I help companies, so I won’t go into it here. But your organization's purpose answers two questions- how is the world different because your company exists and how would the world be different if it didn’t exist? There is a dialogue that must occur between you and I to get to what your company's purpose is because just answering those questions is not enough. We must do a rendering process once the questions have been answered—to get to the CORE purpose of your enterprise. But you get the idea-  Your company needs to have a core purpose because your company’s purpose drives everything you DO, all the work, all the goals, all the products or services are validated against this CORE purpose. Want an example? The Disney corporation’s Core Purpose—"to make people happy"- have you seen anything from Disney that had hate or horror or defeat in it? No, they let their core purpose drive their movies, their theme parks- you get the idea. So what is yours?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Becoming Great! Teleologically Speaking

Here is an empowering fact:

Humans are teleological.

Telos means end or completion.

In short, we tend to act towards that which we are "pointed at".

Do you get that?

Right now you are acting and behaving towards what is "pulling" you. This aspect of our persons is activated by our base needs, like hunger and sex, for example. But the real beauty of it's function lies within our freedom and intelligence. We can set our eyes and mind on anything. So how you use this aspect of your person can really make a difference......or not.

This is why Outcome Based Job Descriptions are so effective, why well defined vivid Vision, works so well.

Try it, on-purpose, and see what happens. You might be amazed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Becoming Great! Effectiveness

My practice is all about effectiveness.

Effectiveness is this: when a system or person or group, performs "as intended". 

Effectiveness -  is the means to Greatness.  We can aspire to much, but you and your organization are actually capable of much, given a process designed to help you achieve effectiveness.  The most successful person or organization are those who are also highly effective. They accomplish what they intend to do.

The process we use to accomplish this is:

  • Help you identify your organization's core purpose- intentions are all about purpose. Purpose drives strategy, tactics, product development, service definition, and points you towards identifying your vision.  Purpose replaces mission.  Missions are accomplished. Purpose is eternal.
  • Help you identify and articulate your real, actual, core values- those principles of decision-making that you already use day-to-day, and then help you articulate them in ways you can MEASURE. When we do this with your values, they become core competencies that we look for and measure with every key stakeholder.
  • We help you select people who fit three criteria: “Competence, Character and Chemistry” © - 1, Competence-they can do the job 2, Character-they share your values, and 3, Chemistry- you like them, and want to work with them. I have developed a "selection process". Define specific expectations- All work, should be pointed at OUTCOMES- and outcomes should be the focus, the aim of all work. Great outcomes are purpose-driven. We create Outcome Based Job Descriptions ©
    Throw out your Job Descriptions and let desired Outcomes be the fuel for managing and leading people.
  • Better and better people processes- We teach the “Management Series” an Alpha-Omega skills and development paradigm of how to select, train, motivate, coach, evaluate, redirect and terminate people.
  • We help you discover your vision- If you let your purpose drive you and live your real values, there becomes, through extrapolation, a natural long-term outcome that your organization should attain.
This comprehensive approach, properly executed, as “intended” will produce effective people and an effective organization….and will help your emerging business and great product or service to become great!

Jeffrey Pelletier

Becoming Great!©

Friday, July 24, 2009

Becoming Great- how I can help

Why can I help you? If you get right down to it, when you are emotionally tied or linked to something important like a busineess you've raised from an idea, or an organization you've assumed leadership of, it gets more and more difficult to remain objective.

How do you know when you should contact me?

  • You become "personally" invested- the organization becomes part of you and you it. Being in it and part of it and remaining detatched enough to see what really needs to be done, becomes more and more difficult.
  • Lewis' law: (named for Jason Lewis) never underestimate your ability to rationalize. You find yourself making excuses for people, performance and results, "explaining" the undesireable performance or outcome (sales are down), so that it becomes "ok". THAT is rationalizing and it can be destructive.
  • You become relationally involved with the people to the extent that you can't separate chemistry from competence. (Character is easier to discern but even there you can get jaded.) You "like" a person who is under-performing and can't make the hard decisions.
  • You become emotionally attached to a product or service and can't think clearly about it real value.
  • You fall in love with what your company has become and you don't want to challenge it.
  • You get so busy, you lose sight of why you do it everyday, you've lost your bearings, and become sidetracked from that original idea that would change the world.
  • Fatigue
One of the main services I provide for my clients is that I am constantly thinking "outside" their box. This detached and fresh look provides on-going invaluable insight to organizational and "people" problems and opportunities. And I have the capacity and the ability and the will to speak authentically and truthfully with dignity and respect. Put a price on that.
Remember- Be Purpose Driven and Vision Focused-

Monday, May 11, 2009

Coaching Your People to Effectiveness

Coaching, the day to day management of people is the incremental process of improving your organizations effectiveness and a lost art.
Good coaching begins with specific expectations, or outcomes that people are pointed at in accomplishing their job. These expectations should cascade down from the Vision and be driven by the Purpose of the company. There should be NO WASTE in the expectations you have of the people you supervise. Expectations should move the business forward, and help the person grow. They should be clear, concise, doable and as Ken Blanchard says, able to be expressed in less than a minute. In fact I've developed a process of writing job descriptions that will actually guide you as a manager in defining and setting day to day or week to week expectations.

I call them Outcome Based Job Descriptions.

There will be mistakes as people grow of course and those mistakes are entirely permissible and necessary if people are going to learn and grown. In fact, Bill Pollard the Chairman of 3 billion dollar Service Master asserts that "there is no attaining to potential without grace."
Grace is when you "permit" failure in the pursuit of improvement. Grace is a vital part of the improvement process. The idea is to define the "playing field" the degree of authority you give so that these mistakes don't harm the business.

But getting back to expectation. If you have a great "selection process" you will have great people, and if you have great people, you will exponentially empower yourself as a leader. So for expectations to work, and they should, you must have the RIGHT people. Expectations, good ones, define the result and the accomplishment you want from people and provide a context that allows you to give people the freedom they need to add value- or move the business forward.
So good coaches give the right people specific expectation as the beginning of the coaching process.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Performance Leadership- On Becoming Great!

Last week I implemented a “Performance Leadership” process at a client. It took me 13 months to do it.
First let me describe what I did. Most people call what I did performance management. Set up a system to evaluate people against standards and award pay or bonus based on how they did. As you’ll recall from previous posts management is defined as: “getting things done through people.” Management is what we all do day to day. We get stuff done and we employ people, assign them tasks, and they do them. This is management. Leadership is a different animal. Leadership is about a destination. With people, leadership has to do with developing their potential in the context of their job. Since potential is unrealized, they aren’t “there” yet, it is a destination! This makes developing your people a leadership outcome, not a management outcome. So performance leadership is an Holistic process of Leadership that goes way beyond the standard “performance management” paradigm. Now don’t get me wrong, your spend a huge amount of time managing- “getting things done through people”. But unless you also Lead performance and help them grow, you are essentially falling further behind every day.
The thing that is quite important about this performance leadership process is that it began 13 months ago and followed this development process:
  • Selection- Finding the RIGHT people
  • Training- On-board people using a specific OUTCOME BASED job descriptions
  • Coaching- Incrementally assigning work every day that asks people to improve in ONE thing.
  • Leadership- being a catalyst for growth in people.
  • Motivation- creating an environment where people choose to do what you want them to do.
  • Redirecting Poor Performance- changing minds to change behavior
  • Performance Review and Development- OUTCOME BASED Assessments, and Core Competencies from the Values- that lead people to grow.
Each of these components is part of what I call “The Management Series” a tool belt for managing and leading people.
When managers manage and lead with these skills in play, performance development is an OUTCOME and people succeed. Performance Leadership is the key point. If we manage well and lead people, we empower them, and fulfill their potential. If people fulfill their potential at work and they apply it everyday, thee benefit t your company is obvious.

Jeffrey Pelletier
651-492-8540 ph
651-304-1537 fx

Becoming Great!©

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Becoming Great- Retained Search

Let me ask you a question.

How important is it to find and employ the RIGHT people?

When I ask this question in seminars I lead on recruiting and interviewing,  I find that to a person people in attendance say that finding the RIGHT people, especially managers and executives, are THE most important thing they can do.
This is true in marriage, in friends, in all our important relationships.
I teach and practice "selection", not hiring and selection is the key to finding the right person.
Selection implies deliberation and a process. This is why I recommend and practice "retained search" for your managers and executive instead of contingency recruiters.
So why would a business use contigency recruiters? A contingency recruiter is a highly motivated person who competes with other highly motivated people in the same business to find people for your business. While many of them are highly competent, they have a disincentive to do all the necessary work to really match the person to the critical criteria you need to use to find the right person. In short they don't get paid unless you hire someone they send you, so what they do, like most brokers, they work on the deals that are most likely to pay. Make sense?

And when they find someone for you, they tend to sell that person pretty hard. Remember they need to sell to make money. It's nobody's fault, they need to feed their family too. The way it works for you is that you get a lot of resumes` and interview many candidates, but you don't necessarily get the RIGHT person.

With retained search for managers and executives, you get a guarantee, (three to six months free replacement), and you get a "selection" process that is deliberately designed to provide you with a person who's work will move your company forward.
Retained search, especially one in which a "selection value stream" is employed, will be an investment from which your company and you will prosper if done well.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Becoming Great- Why OUTCOMES??

If you've read anything of this blog you understand that I focus on OUTCOMES.
A key outcome for my clients is teaching them to write Outcome Based Job Descriptions. If you're "up-to-speed" you also know that the prevailing wisdom in HR is that this is "unfair". Performance is the key. (Doing things correctly.)


In my work with customers and business owners outcomes, results are what matter.

I first understood this when a supervisor or business owner sent a subordinate to "training" and they came back and the business got virtually nothing from it. The business had invested between $300 and $500 and the person had been out of the business for a day, ( another $200-$500) and the business is hardly effected by the training. This is quite a point of frustration as you can imagine.
What I noticed is that the skills or knowledge wasn't, in the end, targeted, pointed at, having a genuine business effect. So of course no effect was achieved. DUH!

As I examined that fact I looked at performance management systems, and performance evaluations and training plans and I noticed that none of them had measureable business impact as their GOAL.

This epiphany caused me to discover the following principle: Outcomes drive processes, training, valuations, and behavior in general. And here's a secret, being Outcome driven is, by nature LEAN. If I want to get to San Francisco, a destination is an outcome) I plan the shortest, cheapest route I can, to get there in the least time, with the most return. Lean.

Performance based job descriptions are NOT Outcome Based, although HR gurus want you to think that.
This is a new paradigm---- it works WONDERS.
Jeff Pelletier, MA
Helping people and organizations fulfill their potential.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hunters and Farmers- two kinds of salespeople © 2008

Sales people tend to fall in to one of two main categories that I have identified.
On the one hand are the Hunters.

Hunters are in it for the kill. They are always smelling fresh prey, they are always tracking, sniffing, looking, following their leads and finding prey. Their thrill comes from the kill. The real good ones want to dress their kill and preserve it to get the most meat (revenue) out of it and they work very hard to do that. They follow-up with their customers and stay connected to them. But the minute those customers stop buying don't look for the Hunter to hang around too long. Always on the hunt, the scent of the next prey is always present or if he\she finds fresh tracks (leads) you can be sure the Hunter will be after it. Now I wrote a second ago that the good ones will close well, and take care of the customer, but most hunters aren't very good at follow-through and the details of "after the sale service" are not something they care about generally. They don't stay in one place too long either. They tend to burn out or move on to fresh territory. The Hunter has many customers and not all of them are high quality.

On the other hand are the Farmers

Farmers are careful to produce a harvest. They focus on the herd, and field, and are always looking for the best yield in their harvest. They invest a lot of care in the relationship part of selling and are beloved by their customers. They are trusted. Their customers want to give them all the business, but the buyers have strict policies against that. They nurture and cultivate their customers . They are close personally with their customers and really care about their businesses. The bad Farmers don't close the sale well. They are mostly take orders. The really bad ones aren't good at administration either. The great Farmers get high quality customers and become the "vendor of choice" with those customers. The great farmers really look for customers who match a specific profile and seek to develop "business intimacy" with those customers and long term mutually beneficial relationships with them. The bad Farmers think customer service is a subsititute for a closing. "They'll come around, we just have to wait," they'll say. But if they say that normally, you have a problem. Good Farmers are intentional and they expect more business and will move on from a beloved customer who isn't producing. The Farmer has a lot fewer customers, but all good Farmers are high producing.

I have a client with one of each. Their revenue is almost the same. Surprised?

Regardless of the type of sales person you select, you must still match them to the three key criteria:

Competence- they can do the job

Character- they think like you

Chemistry- you like them personally, and can relate to them.

For more on that click 

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vision- BHAG- whatever

My view, in my work as an organizational effectiveness consultant, I stress that truly effective organizations are "purpose driven" and "vision focused". Purpose is all about why it exists. "What is your company's impact in the world?" How does it's presence make a difference? I have a client, an emerging US manufacturer (now that is something we don't see every day), whose purpose is: to help our customer's to grow and save money. This purpose took about two months to identify. Another is "to help our clients achieve their goals". This client is a law firm. A law FIRM!!!. Note that the purpose is to help their clients achieve ALL the client's goals not just the legal ones. A purpose like that, should and does drive behavior- and should and does justify it. A great purpose gives an overarching organizational foundation for all behavior and is the "tap root" for all Outcome Based job descriptions. So "purpose" is the driving force of the organization internally.

Vision on the other hand is the target of the company's interim goals and marketing and gives clarity and definition to all of its external initiatives. All of these external initiatives must be informed by the vision and align with it. Each of the departments should have a vision, a clear picture, as what they need to look like and how they need to operate, in the fulfillment of the company's vision.

The VIVID description, another key part of the vision, will naturally FUEL this activity as it will describe in detail the major outcomes and accomplishments of the company in the various departments. It will describe in detail how it will all look when it is complete.
Here is an example:

Vivid Description: With our intimate knowledge of our customers we will provide products and services so valuable that we are considered an integral member of their team that they cannot live without. We will collaborate in a way that creates a tremendous competitive advantage to our customers. This competitive advantage will come from providing innovative products to the market faster than anyone, at the greatest value to the customer, and with quality that exceeds the consumer’s expectations. Great customers will seek us out. Our halls will be filled with awards and testimonials bestowed upon us by our customers and suppliers. Our culture and environment will attract the most passionate, committed, and highest achieving people in our industry. Our employees live our core values. We are proud of our accomplishments but are never satisfied with the status quo. We will continuously improve in every way, everyday.

You can see an HR vision in there can't you? and what is this customer intimacy and how is that a sales strategy? What is the operational paradigm required for this vision?

So you can see how this can all work- Can you also see how this is "control" before the fact?
Liberating AND controlling. HMMMM.

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