On motivational speakers and training

motivation speaker

Motivational speakers are good, when your team is in low spirits.

Provided you have a good strategy, right team in place and enabling structures are executed.  But what happens when you have no sound strategy, mediocre teams in place and structures are crumbling.?

No dose of motivation can fix that, right?

But no, many leaders don’t get this. They outsource the hard stuff to a forever optimistic outsider. They sugar coat with hype and jargon. They say “all our futures are bright. But we need to gel together now.” Sounds like crap coming out of  from politician’s mouths, ain’t it ? Sadly many organisations are throwing one session motivational speakers to solve their big long enduring problems.

Like with many mediocre inefficient solution out there, motivational speakers are attractive. They give the sudden boost of steroids. We all feel good, until we feel the ‘same old’ the next day.

So what can we do about training ?

Training is way more important to outsource. There are areas you can outsource, but the core strategy and execution of training should never be outsourced. The senior management and unit heads should be leaders in real time. The problems of today are Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. 

You need senior managers and unit heads to step up to be coaches and mentors. No HR department in the world can get real time assessment of individual training needs of an organisation. That’s why Netflix decentralised training function to unit heads. Netflix’s global reach is testament that their decentralised training plan is working. They publish more and more creative original content and expand their global reach month on month.

So does this mean motivational speaking has no place in the work place?

The answer is Yes and No.

Yes it does – Why do you think sports coaches give their pep talks at the start and intervals of a game? When you have done all game planning and trained hard for it, all you need is a grain of motivation from your leader to go out there and perform your best.

No, that motivation speech can do nothing – if you don’t have sound strategy, a great team and execution structures in place.

Let me know what you think. Appreciate if you can drop a comment below.

Why not compare?

compare

If you want to engage someone at work (who works below their capacity and they are making the effort to improve) don’t compare them with someone else in your organisation. 

Absolutely do not compare them with people in some other organisation, or their practices. 

Ever wonder, why someone who have performed exceptionally well in one organisation, then goes to a new organisation to fail miserably ? 

This behaviour comes from our need to compare numbers: they are doing well, we are not. 

Humans are not numbers. With the advent of big data, managers want to tag everything to a number, because it makes decision making easier. 

Yet if you really want to develop people, learn to trust them and coach them.  

Invest your time to learn why they are working in your organisation ? 

What keeps them motivated ?

People stick with managers who gets them. 

I have seen people working happily at a lower salary for years. They love their manager. I have seen Managers who cannot keep their team members from leaving them, despite offering higher salaries. Yes, there are many reasons to switch places, but have you ever wondered what is the first thing that triggers people to look elsewhere ?

Creating that space

It’s been just over a year since I moved from a full time job to be a business consultant. I have the opportunity to be working in several places,with different teams, including my final full time place of work. 

Initially I thought the transition would be easy. In-fact for first six months, I enjoyed the freedom of having the time to think more and the opportunity to work with different teams. It was exciting. 

In the next 6 months, it got tougher. It’s not that work has been too challenging. It is the change of position. From a position of power and authority, to a position of not having power and authority. From a position of leading to a position of influencing, not knowing if the changes I think needed, might take place. Without a warning, sometimes emotions can wreck me. For example, I can see a change is needed immediately, and I am thinking why others cannot see it. Yet after sometime I realise my job is not to effect change when I want to. Speed is not a sustainable success factor for me now.

My job is to create the space for teams to realise a specific change is needed or to articulate a need with clarity for all. (and sometimes with in that space, I realise, may be that change or the need, is not what we thought it would be)

I read many books, took online courses, discussed with many mentors, but this insight from my experience, is so important for my happiness and teams around me. 

We have different perceptions about the term ‘consultant’.

‘expensive people who have quick answers to problems of others’

‘experts who can talk, only talk,not having to sweat the new changes they bring in’. 

I am not surprised, because most of us had bad experiences with consultants. In my transition, in order for my work to be successful, to create that space, I have to wear different hats: Sometimes I am a moderator, sometimes I am a coach, sometimes I am a counsellor. There are times I am a nobody. I just be there. Not trying to fix anything. Yet, fully aware of the issues, trying to see a different angle, from the people around me.

To help others is to help myself

I remember when I was down with depression some time back, working on my self like resting, sleeping, exercising, music and reading did not work much.

But I remember, one time I had the courage to help someone despite my condition. That changed everything. Knowing that the person was released, relaxed me internally.

The tensions I had evaporated. I could work on myself better.

It is counter-intuitive to much of self help band wagon out there. Yet it was that simple. The heart to help requires no money, no resources, just my willingness to commit unconditional space and time with someone who is in need.

What I found profound is that when I counsel someone, that conversation will be healing me. It will heal a situation in my mind like karma on the spot.