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Leadership and change – understand the real secrets

Leadership and change - understand the real secrets

Leadership and change – understand the real secrets

In business, most of us have been cautioned at some point that, “If you’re not moving forwards you’re actually going backwards.” In essence, this cuts to the core of why change is so essential to a positive and healthy business.

Change is the central element of growth and it requires vision, a driving team and a tight context to be delivered positively. It is the domain of leaders.

On the other hand, consistency, which may apply to product, quality, profit or even to some degree organic growth, is a different objective. It is the domain of managers.

Considering these two side by side, it is not hard to see why consistency and change (indeed managers and leaders) are often challenging to tie together.

The #1 secret for achieving change

The #1 secret for achieving change is that there is no secret for achieving change. Indeed, achieving change in itself is quite easy, as our political leaders show us time after time.

The real challenge is achieving change that is both positive and sustainable. Taking steps to ensure this occurs is the art of great leadership.

Ask the tough questions

I sometimes wonder whether it is harder to know where you are really starting from or where you are specifically trying to get. Pull on your thickest skin, get someone else to identify and ask the questions that need to be asked and don’t let your ego rob you of the truthful introspection that should follow.

It may make the difference between your success and failure. It may also be the difference between business success and failure.

“Feel” and accept the true reasons for change

Identifying the specifics for your ‘change vision’ and also the specifics of your ‘deep and heart-centered’ reason for change is tough. If there is a key requirement (you just said there isn’t a secret) for achieving positive and sustainable change, this is it.

Recognise the types of people you need to drive your change vision. Take some time to identify specifically who they might be and then what it is about your vision that might move them.

Develop a simple plan for leadership and change

From here on, the key elements of your success are sticking to what works, keeping it simple and continuing to fuel the passion that binds your driving team to your vision.

Try to involve your driving team in this process of identifying the repeatable tasks that will achieve your objective and the resources available / needed.

Next you will need to identify the finite list of potential blockers and develop contingency plans to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes. Keeping on track and achieving positive and sustainable change is a 99% leadership and 1% management mixture of fuel, context and accountability.

Take a deep breath and be prepared to be human, to concede error and to be open to change yourself.

You will be respected and followed as a leader in a far more powerful manner when you have the courage to do these things.

This article is an excerpt from Stuart Hayes’ article in “My Business Magazine”.

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Training for people, who need people who understand people

Training for people, who need people who understand people

Training for people, who need people who understand people

Think back to your school days. Remember the teachers who made a difference, the ones that in some way still have influence on your life today. Chances are they were the ones who brought more than just the curriculum to the chalkboard. They provided experience and treated you with respect. They didn’t talk down to you, they engaged with you in a way you could understand. That experience made lessons come to life and those lessons still may resonate with you today.

There is no substitute for experience

Only those with real life experience are allowed to facilitate DST peoples training and development programs. There are no juniors learning on the job. Our management experts work with modules they have had a hand in developing. Those modules are built on decades of real world experience working directly with people. What DST people do is not theoretical.

It is practical and it achieves real, measureable and long-term change because our people have decades of experience getting the best out of people.

…and the winner is?

Almost all of those who participated in our courses have found our training inspiring and noticed a marked improvement in the way they work. Want to hear more? Click here to see what our clients and course participants have to say about us.

But as they say, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’, so if you want to understand the DST people difference you need to contact us and discover first hand what we can do to help you achieve your goals.

Contact us on 03 9555 9050 or email js@dstgroup.com.au to learn more about our training & development options.

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Complimentary training & development review

Complimentary training & development review

Complimentary training & development review

Many organisations fail to realise the full potential of their people, simply because they don’t continue to develop that potential. Similarly, an organisation’s culture can be poisoned by poor communication, leading to misunderstanding, resentment, poor behaviour and less-than-stellar performance. It is rare that individuals alone are to blame for these failings. The right training & development can transform an organisation and its people. Our staff are not naturally equipped with the skills to cope with the variety of personality types found in business. We are often surprised when people fail to work well together. This can be costly. The right training can make a big difference and help your people learn to communicate and work together much more effectively.

Why do organisations fail to invest in training & development?

According to Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great” great companies invest significantly in their key people. So why don’t all organisations invest in their greatest assets outside technical training? They may see training such as effective communication, team development and managing conflict as a low priority, but this view is counter-intuitive.

Why pay so much for your people, then not equip them with the skills to make them as effective as possible.

Consider that an investment of 5% of a team member’s salary in training could yield an increase in productivity of 30% and you begin to understand the value of ongoing training & development.

Complimentary training & development review by DST people

Organisations without a history of team development training quickly become evangelists once they experience first hand the transformation effect it has on its people and productivity.

We have discovered that the most difficult part of this process is understanding where to start. So DST people is now helping organisations with a complimentary training & development review consultation.

We’re making the process easy to start. Meet with us to discuss your people challenges and we will advise you on how to develop the culture you’re looking for.

Contact us on 03 9555 9050 or email js@dstgroup.com.au to learn more about our training & development options.

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A brief insight into the world of DST people

A brief insight into the world of DST people

A brief insight into the world of DST people

An interview with John Smith, Managing Director of DST corporate

John Smith gives a brief insight into the world of DST people. John discusses what differentiates DST people from other organisations in the HR sector and how DST people works with mid size organisations.

DST people’s range of services includes organisational development & planning, role success profiling, professional sales, skills training, managing performance, high performance leadership training, outplacement support, succession & career planning, conflict management & prevention, effective team development, as well as personality & cognitive assessments.

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Psychometric Testing

Psychometric Testing

Psychometric Testing

Knowledge is power

More often than not the reason training programs fail to achieve the desired outcomes is because trainers don’t understand the culture and dynamics of team relationships. Understanding an organisations culture is often simpler than understanding the personalities within this culture. One of the most accurate and efficient ways of developing a comprehensive understanding of individuals and team dynamics is through psychometric testing. Psychometric testing is a practice that has been in used for decades and is a practice not used enough in recruitment and professional development.

‘Best Practice’ training processes

DST people integrate the latest generation ‘best practice’ psychometric tests in their training programs. The information obtained through this process helps both facilitators and Business Managers develop a more accurate understanding of the challenges and opportunities of working with and developing team members.

The Latest generation of Psychometric testing

For those who may have previously used or engaged with previous generations of psychometric tests, you will be surprised by how far this technology has come in a short time. The level of sophistication provided by the types of psychometric testing employed by DST people provides essential information on personalities and natural aptitudes.

Building a more comprehensive picture of your team

There are very specific personality traits that make people naturally suited to filling specific positions in an organisation. For example, the traits that made someone a successful sales person are not necessarily the same traits that make them good sales managers. Psychometric testing does not limit team members’ capabilities; it only defines current challenges and potential behaviours that can undermine team dynamics and efficient workplace practices. Armed with this information, businesses are then in a position to determine what training is required to improve outcomes.

People join organisations and leave managers

We all understand how the wrong team dynamic can undermine the effectiveness of a whole. Bad practices and poor behaviour often starts at the management level and filters down to the remainder of the organisation. The psychometric tests deployed by DST people can help identify the root cause of these problems. Training can correct these problems and provide lasting benefits.

The secret to retaining the best people

It is widely recognised that the experience of the first 90 days with an organisation is key to retaining the best people. In the first 90 days, new people are exposed to your on boarding process, a range of managers and different team dynamics. The right psychometric testing can improve every aspect of this experience. Psychometric testing can provide you with detailed information to help individualise the on boarding process. It can also help implement professional development and succession strategies, improving the effectiveness of managers and team dynamics.

A combination of the right psychometric testing and training strategy can deliver measurable and long lasting benefits to an organisations culture, securing the best people and attract more of the same quality.

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7 ways to improve the efficiency of your organisation

7 ways to improve the efficiency of your organisation

7 ways to improve the efficiency of your organisation

The current government efficiency drive is a signal to all Australian organisations to look at their own efficiencies. One of the more obvious areas where Australian organisations can improve efficiency is with their people. This does not necessarily mean working your people harder, it means empowering your people to work ‘smarter’. Imagine what impact as little as 10% increase in productivity would have on your organisations success.

Here are our top seven tips to greater efficiency

  1. Begin by involving your key people in your planning and goal setting
  2. Establish mechanisms for measuring, reviewing and re setting goals
  3. Implement a workable win-win Performance Review process and stick to it
  4. Put in place a proactive training and development program for key employees
  5. Develop a communications charter to celebrate success and keep staff informed
  6. Recruit staff who are going to fit and / or build your ideal achievement culture
  7. Move staff on who don’t get on board with your vision as quick as possible

Before you start training, consider a HR audit

DST people conduct HR audits of organisations, which help identify any gaps, or lapses in the way companies manage the people side of their business. A DST people HR Audit can help you develop and implement retention strategies, policies and processes.
Role Success Profiling

DST people Role Success Profiler packages increase your ability to select and retain the high performers who will help deliver your business vision. Role Success Profiling allows new managers and staff to fit into and strengthen your organisations culture. Role Success Profiling can also improve staff morale, motivation and retention.

The best place to start is at the beginning

Once you have employed the right people, the next thing is how you bring them into the organisation.

The first 90 days of employment are crucial to ensuring new team members understand an organisations culture and ensuring they become long-term productive team members. The key to this is the induction process. Developing and helping your people implement an effective and efficient induction process is one of the services DST people provide to its clients.

Organisational and Development Planning

Changes that drive efficiency can leave your people feeling a little shell-shocked. DST people Organisation Development packages help you address major internal changes, merge cultures and increase competiveness. DST people Organisation Development packages help organisations learn how to unlock their team’s power, focus, creativity and energy. This package helps your people understand the need for change and the positive outcomes for all concerned.

Conflict resolution training

Not everyone in your organisation needs to be best friends, however they do need to get along together. Personality conflicts can cause major interruptions within organisations, poison cultures and can even result in high profile court cases. The presumption is that all adults have the coping skills to manage these conflicts but the reality is these skills are not naturally acquired they are taught. The power differentiations in workplace relationships further exacerbate these matters and these often lead to legal intervention. All of this can be avoided, if your people are trained in the skills of identifying issues before they arise, as well as learning the skills to resolve conflict before it escalates. DST people can provide your people with the training to achieve these outcomes, allowing you to focus on core issues.

Other opportunities to improve efficiency

Meeting with DST people will provide you with insights into the many solutions they provide organisations like your own to improve efficiency. It is proven that the right HR reviews and training strategies can increase efficiency, reduce conflict and help your organisation develop a culture of innovation. Call today on (03) 9555 9050 and arrange an obligation-free consultation from one of our team.

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Should succession planning be a priority for your company?

Should succession planning be a priority for your company?

Should succession planning be a priority for your company?

Succession planning is possibly one of the most misunderstood functions of business planning. It can also be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to attract and retain the best people.

Succession planning provides less visible benefits, such as the retention of valuable institutional memory, which can be lost when your best people leave, looking for greener pastures. The best employers understand the practical benefits of building the best management teams from within their own organizations, using Succession Planning in the process. With such clear benefits, the question needs to be asked ‘why is succession planning overlooked by so many organizations?

What is succession plan?

To answer this question, we need to first clarify what succession planning is. Succession Planning is defined as ‘the identification of job vacancies that can be expected to occur through retirement or attrition, and the strategic consideration of where and how internal candidates might fill those vacancies.’ In other words, it is the process of identifying and developing current employees for future leadership roles.

‘What impact does Succession Planning have on our HR strategy?’

An example of how Succession Planning can work is as follows: The Succession Plan begins with a review of an organizations current talent pool. Once the organization has built a comprehensive understanding of their peoples’ capabilities and aspirations, training plans are implemented to bridge gaps in skill set that are uncovered through these reviews. As employees complete these training programs and accumulate positive annual reviews, they are considered as a part of the talent pool that will be eligible for a managerial position when current managers are promoted or move on.

This example demonstrates how your HR strategy can move from focusing on external talent pools with limited transparency, to internal ‘known’ talent pools.

Exactly how vital is Succession Planning?

Here are a few stats from a recent employee survey that highlight exact how important Succession Planning is in the minds of employee.

62% of employees surveyed say they would be ‘significantly more engaged’ at work if their company had a succession plan. From the same survey, 94% of employers surveyed report that having a succession plan positively impacts their employees’ engagement levels. It was also found that over 90% of younger workers (age 18 to 34) say that working at a company with a clear succession plan would ‘improve’ their level of engagement. Seventy-nine percent of employers surveyed note they have succession plans in place for mid-level manager positions. These figures should give every manager pause for thought.

‘How qualified are we to implement our own Succession Plan?’

Succession planning is far from simple. Companies must track employee performance, training and development, ensuring that potential candidates for leadership roles have the necessary skills and competencies. Many organizations that implement succession plans primarily focus on executive positions, however this approach is short sighted. An effective Succession Plan extends beyond executive level to all roles that have high impact on an organizations success.

As it stands today, you may benefit from assistance identifying the needs of a Succession Plan for your business, which is why you would engage an organization like DST people to guide you through the process. If you would like to know more about the process used by DST people to help you develop and implement Succession Planning, click on the link below to learn more.

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5 signs your team lack project management fundamentals

5 signs your team lack project management fundamentals

5 signs your team lack project management fundamentals

You probably have a team of highly skilled specialists, with years, if not decades of experience of ‘real world’ project experience. So why is it that so much experience counts for so little when managing projects?

It would seem logical if you team have worked on similar projects, to the ones they are currently tasked with that they would be well prepared to manage the scope, budget, timeline and performance expectations …but you would be wrong. Your assumption is that projects that start out with similar scopes end up the same way. They never do. Each project is unique and your project management disciplines should reflect this reality.

This fact alone would seems to imply that it is almost impossible to accurately estimate the time, resources and performance criteria of a project at the time of commencement. That belief in itself demonstrates a lack of understanding of project management fundamentals. Here are 5 other signs that team may lack the practical fundamentals of project management.

Sign #1 ‘Our estimate of resources required to finish the project was naive’

Does this sound familiar? The estimated resources required to finish a project on time and to the performance criteria in the original scopes are now a distant memory. The only way to get the project back on track is to move the timeline further our and throw even more resources at it. Your original launch date is not even your biggest problem, it’s finding the extra funds and resources to get the project finished that is now your biggest headache.

You all thought your initial estimates were accurate but you now understand how optimistic you may have all been. Is it just a case of allowing a much greater resources allocation next time? The simple answer is ‘no.’ You and your team need the project management fundamentals to need the tools that allow you to much more accurately assess the resources you need to manage a project, from inception to completion.

Sign #2 ‘We’ve missed our critical deadline and we’re now having to deal with the knock on effects’

A lack of project management disciplines are usually at the root cause of critical deadlines goes out the window. As they say, “No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy.” The real world implications of under estimating the scope of a project and the resources needed to complete it eventually lead to continuous shifting of deadlines for completion. This would be comical if it was happening to your competitors, but it’s not, it’s happening to you.

And worse of all, this is having deeper, more costly ramifications throughout your organization. If your team had proper project management fundamentals training, you would be in a much better position to meet critical deadlines.

Sign #3 ‘Our lofty performance expectations were the first casualty’

Quality should never be sacrificed on a project. Not only is it demoralizing to the project management team, it leaves all stakeholders with a bitter taste in their mouths and no appetite for any future projects your team undertakes.

Like ripples in a pond, a project that does not meet performance criteria has far-reaching and long-term impacts. Everybody becomes less enthusiastic and risk averse.

You start looking for the safe options and that only produces increasingly diminishing returns. Training your team on project management fundamentals may have delivered a very different outcome.

Sign #4 ‘Our dependence on 3rd parties have left us high and dry’

How could you have possible known that a 3rd party contractor would let you down so badly? Believe it or not, you should have known this from the outset that this was a factor you needed to allow for. More so, you should have had a way of monitoring that this problem was emerging and been in a position to implement your contingency plan, and as they say in the Western movies, ‘head it off at the pass.’

Identifying the risks that are critical to meeting milestones, budgets and performance expectations is possible if you use the right methodology and tools. No mater the size and complexity of a project, it can be relatively easy to estimate, monitor and control risk, if you have the right training.

Sign #5 ‘Our original project scope was too thin’

Most projects start too early, because organizations believe this is the best way of ensuring deadlines are met. In reality, this is often the reason why critical deadlines are not met.

Learn the lessons of Burke and Wills. Headlining off on a long journey, on a road not travelled, with an incomplete map, minimal resources and no real understanding of the poetical risks you may face alone the way will (more often than not) lead to a catastrophic failure.

Allocating more time and resources to developing a scope for your projects will have a dramatic impact on your success. What’s more, if the scope changes along the way (and it probably will), you will be in a better position to deal with the potential knock on effects.
Assumptions are the enemy to success

You assume that you and your team have strong project management fundamentals, because they have completed projects of a similar scope in the past. You also assume they have learned from previous mistakes, but have your provided them with the fundamental disciplines and training to make sure mistakes are not repeated, or new mistakes made?

Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How often have you or your people made the same mistakes on project after project. For many organizations, a fundamental lack of understanding of the skills required to properly manage projects is their biggest barrier to success and growth. Your organization may fit into this category. If any of the above ‘5 signs your team lack project management fundamentals’ reflect your experience, then your organization needs practical project management training.

DST people provide ½ day, intensive project management training, designed to provide your team with the basic skills they need. The fundamentals learned in this training can apply to almost any type or size of project, in any sector and to any skill level. If your team is like the countless large and small organizations who have undergone this training, they will come away equipped with the basic skills and tools that will have an immediate impact on the success of both projects in progress and future projects.

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Talent Pools – Are yours too Shallow?

Talent Pools - Are yours too Shallow?

Talent Pools – Are yours too Shallow?

Have organisations internal talent pools become too shallow?

The world’s leading advisor in business strategy and global management consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group, conducted a global study* into how companies can best adapt their HR practices in volatile times.

BCG identified “Managing Talent” as continuing to be the most critical topic for executives, and ranked as the number one concern in Australia.

A significant finding in relation to managing talent was the conclusion that the key differentiating element in business was people.The study found that 56% cited a critical talent gap for their managers’ successors, because their internal talent pools being too shallow. The study went on to express executive concern around their current leadership succession programs, and the fact that they identified these plans were “…lacking transparent criteria for employee selection.”

(*Creating People Advantage 2010)

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Has Australian recruitment become a ‘beauty contest?

Has Australian recruitment become a ‘beauty contest?

Has Australian recruitment become a ‘beauty contest?

Through no fault of your own, your organisation may appear as the ‘wallflower’ to the very people you want to attract to your business. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a decrease in demand for talent because of rising unemployment. Even amongst young people, with the highest unemployment levels, good people are hard to find and even harder to hold. In the last few years, you may have even appeared to ‘let yourself go’ to the people who are already part of your organisation. Maybe it’s time for a HR ‘makeover.’

The law of attraction

If you are serious about attracting the best people to your organisation, then you need to develop a strategy to make your organisation an ‘appealing’ place to work. The best way to achieve this result is to implement an ‘employer brand strategy.’

Do the best people even know you exist?

Employers who are successfully attracting the best talent understand where they need to be to find that desired talent and how they need to communicate with them. There has been a fundamental change in the way that organisations communicate and attract potential employees of different generations. Considering that newspapers, online job sites and professional recruitment agencies may be on your radar, you may have overlooked the importance of social media to younger generations. Gen Y not only interacts with friends and colleagues on social media, they also use it as a forum to discuss the organisations they wish to work with. Experienced & highly educated Gen X’s have turned to LinkedIn to network and advance their careers. The question you need to ask yourself (if you haven’t already asked it) is ‘what impression does our social media profile create of our organisation?’

Building an employer brand profile in an era of frictionless communication

People talk. If not face-to-face, they use social media. This can work to your advantage if you’re an employer who recognises and rewards effort, as well as an employer who invests in your employee’s careers. You’d be surprised how quickly the word will get out if you’re doing the best by your employees.

Of course, the inverse is also true. If you don’t have the policies and practices in place that motivate your people, then word will get out. If that happens, you can expect aggressive recruiters to use mediums such as social media to lure away your best people.

Don’t ever let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security about how attractive your organisation is to both your existing and potential employees.

You must always be testing and maintaining your profile and (more importantly) reevaluating internal policies and processes to ensure they are in keeping with the latest best practices employed by the best employers.

What are the foundation stones of a modern employer brand strategy?

Do you have a clearly communicated internal Succession & Career Planning process? Is it supported by a Performance Management process? If not, how are you ensuring your people are not looking elsewhere for career advancement? Survey after survey indicates that learning & development opportunities are important ranking factors for employees, as well as those who are looking for career advancement outside their current organisation. Little will change in the way your employees (and potential employees) view your organisation until you start addressing these issues.

How much will this all cost?

If that’s your first question, you’re looking at this the wrong way. The question you need to be asking yourself is ‘what is the cost to my organisation not having an employer brand strategy?’ If you are like most Australian organisations, your employees are both your most valuable assets and costliest overhead, yet many organisations don’t see developing their people as key to retention and recruitment. This is a dangerously, outdated view of the employment environment. The fact is the investment required to develop and retain your people is a fraction of the cost of trying to recruit new people. What’s more losing people often results in a loss of organisational knowledge and skills.

Should I focus on team or individual development?

The answer is both. Even if your organisation doesn’t have the internal resources or experience to develop and implement your training and development solutions, organisations such as DST people do. DST people have a large, highly qualified and experience national network of trainers with an extraordinary range of specialised training packages. These packages are proven to deliver measurable change in business outcomes, as well as employee and management sentiment.

From workplace conflict management to succession planning, and almost everything in between DST people provides possibly Australia’s most comprehensive range of training and development packages delivered by arguably Australia’s largest, most experienced and highly qualified facilitators. DST people provide solutions that cover both team and individual development & training.
What should be my primary focus of my employer brand strategy?

This will change from organisation to organisation, however one option to begin this process is to meet with an organisation such as DST people to begin the review process. Sometimes it takes someone outside your organisation to give an accurate and frank evaluation of how you currently look to your employees and potential employees. If you would like to find out more call DST people now on 03 9555 9050.

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106/999 Nepean Hwy
Moorabbin, Victoria
Australia, 3189
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