Posts

Workforce Planning: A Journey in Optimism

We’ve been focusing on Workforce Planning which, in a nutshell,  is a process that ensures you have enough of the right people in the right positions doing the right things at the right times.  What our research shows is that organizations often fall in the trap of being too tactical or short-term focused when it comes to Workforce Planning.  Regardless of the industry, type of business, or size of the organization, it is easy to make this mistake.

I’m in a Leadership Collaborative group that is made up of professional services businesses.  We meet once a month, and often the topic of discussion leans toward staying strategic rather than being pulled in to the tactical day-to-day chaos that can rule one’s days (and nights!).  I know from my personal experience it takes extreme discipline to make the time to look out in the distance and blend my hopes and dreams with the obstacles and potential threats to our company’s success.

Based on projections, a significant talent gap could soon impact having enough of the right people in the right positions doing the right things at the right time.   Organizations not only have to project attrition, identify and retain the best talent, develop skills for today and tomorrow, but often this must happen simultaneously while re-engineering and reinventing themselves to meet the ever-evolving marketplace.

When you think about the skills that leaders must possess to do this well, beyond the obvious technical abilities, optimism comes to mind.  Leaders who prepare for the best possible outcome are willing to ask the tough questions:

  • How do we hold the biggest dream possible for our organization’s ability to stay relevant and make a difference?
  • How do we listen to what is needed from us now: financially, socially, and environmentally?
  • How do we design a path that supports team members in maximizing their potential?
  • How do we maintain the courage to confront the brutal truth so that we remain nimble and poised to face every potential road block?

Want to join the conversation? Please comment below.  Or schedule time now to see how Xponents can help.

 

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-EditDeb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.

 

Optimism

Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. my sixteen-year-old leaves for Phoenix and his first big tournament since his doctor released him to play soccer again this past December.  He was out of the game so long (three surgeries over the course of a year), that I wondered “will he be able to make it back?”  I hoped for the best, feared the worse, and felt a great deal of disappointment at not seeing him run like the wind down the field this past year.  He never lost hope that he would return to the game that he loved so much and he still talked about playing soccer in college.  Beyond the physical healing process, I worried about how to guide him emotionally.  Should I be optimistic: “with hard work you can achieve anything you set your mind to,” or do I prepare him for the possibility that he may not be able to play at the level he was before his accident?   As it turns out, research would advise me that a healthy dose of both isn’t a bad thing.

Optimism, or maintaining a positive attitude even in the face of adversity, is not to be confused with a “Polly-Anna” or “Rose-Colored Glasses” approach to living.  In the book, The EQ Edge by Steven J. Stein Ph.D. and Howard E. Book, M.D., Optimism is an emotional intelligence competency described as “the ability to stop thinking or saying destructive things about yourself and the world around you, especially when you are suffering personal set-backs.   True Optimism is a comprehensive and hopeful but realistic approach to daily living.”

As leaders, in both our families or in the workplace, we must encourage others to dream the biggest dream imaginable and yet remain realistic about what it will take to achieve it.  I know that it has been challenging for my son to get his body back following two knee surgeries.  He recovered, and then recovered again.  He pushed himself too hard at one stage and had to have hernia surgery.  Once he accomplished getting his body back in shape (after countless hours of running), he found himself on the field working to regain the confidence of knowing where to be at any given moment.

It’s not been easy and there is still much work to be done, but I would say we both remain realistically optimistic that he can regain what he lost in terms of time and experience.  There is another outcome that this difficulty may have facilitated for him; the realization that one’s GPA may be as important as success as a soccer player.  He is currently a straight A student, who is taking all honors and AP classes as a Sophomore.  I am proud beyond words of what he is creating for himself!

I wish I could be there to see him this weekend, as he sprints down the field and lives the dream that true optimism made possible.  As I sigh deeply I’m reminded of a saying that I hold close and remember often, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”  I believe that was spoken like a true optimist.

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-EditDeb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.