Nice read – Are You an Overwhelmed Employee? New Research Says Yes.

Previously Josh Bersin discussed the Myth of the bell curve in performance management.

This post continues the story reviewing the role of HR, leadership… read more.


Coaching run through a functional MRI

Something to read about “How to Be a Better Coach, According to Neuroscience” by Jessica Stillman

Most business owners aspire to be not just managers but coaches. According to the research mentioned in the article coaching has a positive and a negative side.

How do you approach coaching your team?

An excerpt…

“A new study, published in Social Neuroscience, used brain sans to test two different approaches to coaching on a group of undergraduates.

  • The first approach mirrored traditional coaching, asking students to identify areas in which they might be struggling at school and think about ways to improve.
  • The second group of coaches focused on possibilities and positives, asking the students about their aspirations and urging them to visualize their future goals.

These differences in brain activity led the researchers to conclude that positive coaching effectively activates important neural circuits and stress-reduction systems in the body by encouraging mentees to envision a desired future for themselves.


Strive to operational excellence by relentlessly removing problems, but not only this, and encourage acts of leadership to increase business fitness.

Intresting article about The Myth of the Bell Curve in performance management

Something to think about by Josh Bersin.

He states that this (bell curve) statistical model, while easy to understand, does not accurately reflect the way people perform.

As a result, HR departments and business leaders inadvertently create agonizing problems with employee performance and happiness.

Do you recognize it?

The article –

Slechts een gedeelte van lean wordt geassimileerd met het heersende management paradigma

Mijn observaties in verband met kenniswerk naar aanleiding van het artikel ‘Welzijn in Europese autosector lijdt onder Japanse productiemethodes’ –
Steeds valt mij op dat slechts een gedeelte van lean wordt geassimileerd met het heersende management paradigma waar het uitkomt. Meer bepaald wordt enkel focus gelegd op het gedeelte efficiëntie verbetering.
Echter lean is meer.
Stimuleren van leiderschapsinitiatieven op alle niveaus of ‘human development’ als een richtinggevend element (True North) gebruiken om beslissingen tegen af te wegen, om er enkele te vermelden.
Spijtig genoeg worden deze laatste elementen niet of beperkt geassimileerd omdat ze volgens mij niet of onvoldoende worden herkent in het heersende management paradigma.

Being coachable

A story about a kid being in a sports school abroad triggered a thought.

The kid returned home at the end of the school year. The parents observed some changed behavior. The kid was going through learning loops much faster, why?

Well, at school they were daily coached to improve their sporting skills. So what happened is that not only the sporting skills were improved but also the ability to be coached, thus the learning capability.

Being coachable has become a routine (aka muscle memory).

Let’s share some experience most of us know. At school we all learned to be compliant with the (imposed) learning schedule offered at a given moment. About 2 times a year we were evaluated (kind of audit). A report was made measuring our degree of compliance (were we able to absorb the offered material in time) and all our mistakes were marked in red. Actually failure was penalized. The teacher had to adhere to some kind of learning plan developed by the government. Students, on the other hand, were learned to be compliant with the plans imposed on them, in other words this way or the highway.

This ‘compliance behavior’ is continued and embedded in organizations and companies. E.g. employees are evaluated once a year, performance is measured against having completed documents against a certain deadline in order to prove that the plan/process is followed.

This is an engagement model driven by control and compliance!

We learned to be a good boy or a good girl taking orders!

So ‘coachable behavior’ has to be learned and trained. By coaching and being coached as a learning model we become able to implement fast learning loops resulting in trust-based relationships (versus control-based relationships) and the capability to engage with uncertainty and taking bigger leaps in learning a capability.

The coach-coached relationship will focus on reinforcing the common purpose and to discover knowledge and develop capabilities.

This is an engagement model driven by trust and learning!

What is your engagement model?

300 pages full of specs and … nobody read them!

Last week, during a number of trainings and meetings, I was reminded of the publications of Michael Kennedy and his contribution to Lean & Kanban 2011 Benelux in Antwerp.

Some quotes from these meetings:

  • Our software engineering process is divided into clear steps, first the needs of the users are recorded in a customer specification document and then signed by de customer, no sooner we can start the development of a new product.
  • We deliver our written software to the test-team.
  • Once the business has determined its needs, we (analysts) receive their signed business analysis and we start the technical analysis based on this document.
  • Since I am a software analyst (consultant), I do not come in contact with the finished product as I am already elsewhere, on another project, before the project is finished.

The above is driven by the view that in projects decisions should be taken in an early stage, before the necessary information is available.
What if we could postpone decisions!

Do you recognize the quotes or do project plans and budgets seem to slip systematically, do designs repeatedly have to be resumed by invalid (not validated) ones, then please take a look at Set-Based Decision Making.

Opening time schools

I just read an article “Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm” in the Harvard Business review on morning and evening people.
It strikes me that the majority of students seem to be evening people and consequently their performances peak later in the day. However, the school day starts in the morning.

Nowadays, where the user and his experience/interaction gets more centrally placed in service delivery, one may question whether this major social service offered, called “school”, shouldn’t take this into account?
Should the student fit in in the school system with the result that we force the majority of them to perform in a period of low physical and cognitive performance or should search for a school system where the biorhythm has its place?

An inspiring post on YouTube! See this clip taking up the idea of developing a school built around the needs of the student, see here.

Some food for thought