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What Kind of Facilitator Are You?

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Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting, wondering when you can get back to doing real work? Maybe you’re one of the 73% of meeting attendees that brings other work with you. Or are you part of the 39% that is asleep?

While meetings are a necessary part of collaborating with others, they don’t have to be ineffective. A successful facilitator can help direct the conversation to ensure that the end result is valuable.

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Learning How to Persevere From a 108-Year Journey

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108 years.

It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around.

108 years of striving and hoping. 108 years of falling short of the ultimate goal. It has been an incredibly long journey.

Granted, I am not a member of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (I love typing that). But this has been a dream of mine almost as long as I have been alive.

The journey for this team, however, really got started back in 2009 when the Ricketts family bought the Chicago Cubs and set their plan into motion. They set their sights on the long-term goal of winning a championship, knowing it would take years to accomplish.

The process involved totally overhauling the leadership and philosophy of the organization through the hiring of key individuals such as President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, and manager, Joe Maddon. The entire roster was transformed with the new philosophy, The Cubs Way, in mind. The culture of the organization needed to be totally transformed to achieve their goal of a World Series Championship.

After enduring years of losing baseball, the hard work has finally paid off. The team did not deviate from their plan. They stuck with the process that was set in motion at the beginning and trusted that it would help them achieve their goal.

We can learn from this example if we are facing a daunting task. If your team is pursuing a long-term objective that seems impossible, take a deep breath and prepare for the journey.

There will be ups and downs along the way. Challenges will continually pop up. You will be tempted to deviate from your plan or try to find shortcuts. Significant change is never easy.

It takes time to get the right people on board. You may have to temporarily be content with less than ideal results. At times it will feel like you are making no progress, or even going backwards. That’s normal.

As you pursue your goal, focus on the steps you need to take today to keep moving forward. Trust your process. Celebrate the small victories along the way. Know that if you continue to persevere, the day will come that you get to celebrate the achievement of your ultimate goal.

Speaking of which, I’m going to get back to enjoying this victory.

Go, Cubs, Go!

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Are You Using the Best Measure of Employee Engagement?

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Most people agree that one of the keys to organizational success is having an engaged workforce.

Over the years, the understanding and terminology around employee engagement has shifted. From employee satisfaction in the 1970’s and 80’s, to employee commitment, then employee engagement, and now sustained engagement.

Despite these changes in understanding, the basic approach is still the same. Use some form of employee survey to gather the opinions and thoughts of your team, develop an action plan to address deficiencies, rinse, and repeat.

Unfortunately, the results have been similarly stagnant. Despite decades of work, employees are still remarkably disengaged. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.

Why is that?

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