FranklinCovey Blog | Franklincovey
Does this sound familiar…
“I work at a Fortune 500 company. Each year we have layoffs so more work is given to each of us; no pay increase. This additional work adds 5-10 hours per week. Last year I averaged 60-70 per week and am working more this year.”
“I have worked in Manufacturing for nearly 30 years. Our plant had 4000 employees when I started. Today we have 187 people left, 72 of them are on the executive team. We are expected to come to work an hour early, work through lunch and stay two hours late everyday.”
“I work as a Web Producer for a publishing company. Over the past 6mo. they’ve laid off 50% of our staff. . . . So, now we’re stuck with a limited staff, each one doing 2-3 times as much work, most of which we’re not qualified or experienced in.”
These actual postings from www.cnn.money illustrate one of the key hazards of these unpredictable times: Trying to do more with less. Of course, the concept is a virtuous one—everyone wants to get more return from fewer resources. That’s what productivity is all about.
But real people are paying a real price for unintelligent application of this principle.
The problem is too many companies lay people off and then expect the survivors to pick up the slack, doing two or three jobs at once. The obvious downside is spikes in stress, burnout, quality problems, and disengagement. You can’t expect overwhelmed people to do quality work or to get engaged in what they’re doing.
Everyone wants to do more with less. But the real question is “more of what”? More of the same? Or more of the kind of work that your customers really value?
In our recent book we focus hard on this question. The turmoil we live in is displacing workers in unprecedented ways, and companies are paying a heavy price for mindlessly shedding numbers without re-thinking the business model. Service levels drop, quality plummets, and revenues slide.
On an airliner, serving peanuts to everyone might be in the flight attendant’s job description. But in turbulent air, you really don’t care if the flight attendant does that job. It’s not as important as caring for the safety and well-being of the passengers. Maybe you can do without serving peanuts for a while.
Isn’t it time to stop asking people to do the impossible by trying to work two or three jobs at once? Isn’t it time to push the re-set button and ask what work really adds value and forget the rest?
We’d like to hear from you. Are you trying to do “more with less”? Are you like the people we’ve quoted above? Or are you doing more of what really matters and less of what doesn’t?
When we say that a person has had a great career, what do we mean? That he or she made a lot of money? Moved spectacularly up the corporate ladder? Became famous or renowned in their profession? And what about you? Are you looking forward to a great career? Would you describe your current career as “great”? When you get to the end of your productive life, will you be looking back on a mediocre career? A good career? Or a great career? And how will you know?
HOW do you create a great career for yourself? Can you have a great career and still have a great life at the same time, keeping the things you love – family, friends, work, and play – all in balance?
The answer is YES – look forward to Stephen R. Covey’s new book Great Work Great Career scheduled for release on November 15, 2009. More info coming soon.
FranklinCovey Co. (NYSE: FC) announced today that The Leader in Me, FranklinCovey’s Education process for teaching leadership at the elementary school level, is being used by more than 150 elementary schools in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Hungary and the Philippines. The process, of which The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a foundational piece, inspires young students to develop the skills and self-confidence to lead their lives and succeed in the 21st Century. › Continue reading
Most organizations consider customer service as a value. They’ll tell you it’s important to them to treat their customers well. But how do they know what their customers are thinking, how do they accurately and reliably measure how they are doing?
Typically when asked how companies measure customer service we hear one of three things:
- They have no measure
- They have an unreliable one (but they don’t know it)
- They have an unreliable one (and they do know it, but that’s what you have to put up with in customer service)
One of the most common ways we see unreliable customer service surveys is in the use of email or “back of receipt” surveys for data gathering. You’ve probably experienced this before – you go to a store and at the bottom of the receipt there is a website where you can take an online survey on your experience in that store. If you take the survey, (and I do now, since I’m fascinated with how others get their customer service metrics – but my guess is most of you probably do not) you may be asked to answer anywhere from 10—50 questions on your experience. This survey data is used to rank the stores and to get feedback on all the elements of the customer service experience. › Continue reading
If there’s one thing that’s certain in the business world, it’s uncertainty.
Who would have thought a couple of years ago that giant corporations would be toppling overnight? That gas prices would rise sky high and then collapse again within a few days? That the economic boom would implode into the worst recession in 50 years?
But even in unpredictable times like these, some companies still perform with excellence. How do they do it? What principles do they follow? This blog is a place where we will discuss exactly that. It is a place where we can share insights and successes.
The book Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times, a new book by Stephen R. Covey and Bob Whitman, chairman of FranklinCovey, captures four key principles for getting great performance in good times and bad.
First, winning companies slim down to a few key simple goals with clear targets and careful follow-through. Everybody in the firm knows the goals and what to do about them. › Continue reading
Much has been said about the negative impact of the current global economy; lives have been changed and much has been lost. However, might I say there are positive outcomes?
Today’s reality has forced us to question how we lead ourselves and our families:
- Do we need that next purchase or would we feel better with the security of a savings account?
- Should we be constantly going somewhere or are our best times in the backyard?
- Are we eating healthier by eating at home more often?
- Could our children benefit by playing with other children rather than attending another activity?
- Would there be less stress if we drove less?
What positive outcomes have you experienced? › Continue reading
- Secure their job.
- Advance in their career.
- Become a highly-valued and respected employee.
“The current economic downturn has affected so many people who have found themselves unemployed or nervous about keeping their job and are in need of career and professional development to find and protect their job. And, many are finding they must recreate themselves to start a new career. But, even in this difficult time, everyone can be proactive, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge to help them secure their future.” — Stephen R. Covey
Are you concerned about your job and your role at work? Does there seem to be a major road block on your career path? Have you lost your job and are not sure which direction to go next? Post a comment and tell us your current situation and how and why these webinars would benefit you and on Aug 3 we will choose 50 people to attend for free. So tell us your story…
Click Here for contest details.
More about the webinar series:
These webinars will give you the mindset and skill-set to not only survive these tough times, but to personally thrive in them-and help others to do the same. This is a profound learning opportunity that may just help you to make breakthrough improvements or become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Each webinar stands alone, so you can attend one, two, or all three webinars for maximized learning. Learn more.
Contest ended Aug. 25, 2009.
This next week I’m off to chaperone at a church youth camp and one of the things I’m responsible for is a hike where we’ll take time to meditate and journal write so I needed to prepare a short training exercise to engage the young people. The 7 Habits of Teens has a really fun exercise called The Great Discovery so I thought it would be fun to lead my group through their own great discovery.
I felt like I really needed to freshen up my mission statement before I could teach and advise others to write theirs. It was several years ago when I first attended a 7 Habits workshop (and trust me, it was several years ago). It was at Sundance in the summer and a beautiful place to enjoy nature and discover my passion through writing my first personal mission statement. Since that time, I’ve had another child, put two daughters through college, celebrated many more wedding anniversaries, and advanced my career to my dream job. A lot has happened since that first mission statement was written and my paradigm on life has matured.
So, in a hurry I thought I’d try out the Mission Statement Builder tool on the FranklinCovey website. I thought I’ll get this done in a hurry, it can’t be that difficult, I’ll do it while I’m listening in to this conference call-you know how we multi-task while the phone’s on mute, admit it you do it too. › Continue reading
As a facilitator, you probably know that the program videos play a large role in the effectiveness of many of your FranklinCovey workshops. As part of the Client Facilitator Academy, we worked with our delivery consultants to come up with more ways to set-up and debrief of the videos used in your workshops.
Here is a sample of one from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Signature Program. Mike Bechtel, one of FranklinCovey’s senior delivery consultants, has provided some great ways to use the video Circle of Influence.
Best Practice: Set-up
Before showing this video, ask participants to take notes as they watch. They’ll learn the difference between the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. Then, they’ll hear the story of Ben, a worker at a university who worked his way up through the ranks simply by putting his energy into the things he could influence. Ask them to list the things that were in each of Ben’s circles.
Best Practice: Debrief
Use two flip charts to gather conclusions from the group. “What was in Ben’s Circle of Concern? What was in his Circle of Influence? How did those choices impact those around him?” Ask for volunteers to share a situation that causes concern that most of the group could identify with-traffic, financial issues, relationships, etc. Then draw two circles on a flip chart, and have the group decide what things are in each circle.
How do we use these two circles to become more proactive? Once we’ve decided what items are in each circle, we have to make two choices:
1. Put energy into the things that are in the Circle of Influence.
2. Don’t put energy into the things that are in the Circle of Concern.
The result? Whichever circle you put your energy in will grow. It’s that simple! Some people might feel that their Circle of Influence is just a tiny speck in the center of a huge Circle of Concern. But the principles still hold: no matter how small the circle is, that’s where we want to focus our energy. When we do, growth is inevitable and the Circle of Concern will shrink.
Click Here to access the 232 other video tip sheets.
Stephen M.R. Covey, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, is sharing the power of trust in a 13 city North American speaking tour.
In a recent interview with The Orange County Register Covey addressed the economic worldwide crisis of confidence and how he sees trust as the remedy.
- When leaders ignore or forget their principles, they behave in ways that cause others to lose trust and they loose moral authority, causing social and economic impact. Trust is not a soft social virtue but is a hard-edged economic driver. Financial markets work because of capital and liquidity, but these two elements are not enough. Currently, the government has stepped in to help out with liquidity, but trust cannot be artificially created. › Continue reading