Managers and team leaders should know better than anyone the value of change agents within an organization. They are the “entrepreneurs” within your company, they are the drivers of organic growth, and they make great leaders. Because of this coveted capability, if they aren’t given room to build and grow within a company, it’s easy for them to take their talents elsewhere.

Because there isn’t one title for these “corporate entrepreneurs,” they’re found embedded within many teams (thank goodness). Once you spot them, here’s a brief how-to guide to help keep them inspired and ensure they stay:

Seven ways to keep your change agents happy

  1. Don’t confuse change agents with their siblings — the “Change Management Guru” or the “Big Ideas Person.” Change agents know this isn’t your mom’s change management, where solutions are predetermined and change management mollifies the troublemakers. Instead, today’s change agents build solutions socially by sincerely listening to and collaborating with the “Big Ideas Person.” While some may blow this person off or see them as inefficient, the change agent recognizes that promoting these ideas stretches the team’s thinking and helps create a winning solution.
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Do you trust the people who report to you?

That question is not just about right versus wrong. It’s also about competence versus incompetence. Sometimes managers let things slide because they “trust” their employees will perform.

Trust is a bond between individuals or between teams and their supervisors. It can never be expected, nor imposed. It is earned through example and reinforced through success as well as recognition. (read more…)

Mobile phone battery life is a precious commodity. Consumers crave more and more cool applications for their phones, but those apps can drain the battery and cut off a lifeline to the world as they know it.

App developers are well aware of the limitations of mobile phone batteries. For years, the development of incredible apps that offer location-based services has been stunted by one seemingly insurmountable hurdle: battery drain.

Esri has developed a service that could be a game-changer for developers looking to harness the full potential of location-based services. The platform, called the ArcGIS Geotrigger Service, helps manage the built-in location tracking capabilities on a smartphone and optimizes those services. Developers can use the Geotrigger services to allow apps to send and receive location data from a cloud-based streaming server in real time. The app then knows where it is in relation to relevant points of interest or geofences that the developer defines using a web-based application programming interface. (read more…)

Human social organizations are created and guided by leaders — people who see a path and inspire others to travel along it with them. Leaders set the tone, direction and culture for their companies.

A “Conscious Leader” is someone who leads with “Conscious Awareness,” which is a process of recognizing what is going on inside and out, the effects of decisions and actions, and the interaction between a complex array of factors and forces. It is seeing our seeing, observing our thoughts and recognizing our feelings and their effects.

Conscious leadership is one of the four core tenets of “Conscious Capitalism” (along with higher purpose, a stakeholder orientation and conscious culture). Conscious leaders embrace the higher purpose of their business and focus on creating value for and harmonizing the interests of the company’s stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate conscious culture that fosters ongoing learning, growth and development of their team members. (read more…)

In all of the work I’ve done in management development over the last 20-plus years, if I had to pick the one thing that managers at all levels either won’t do, can’t do, should do or could do it better, it’s having the will and skill to sit down with an employee and have the tough conversation about performance.

In the life cycle of management development, we tend to view this as “supervision 101.” And it’s true — learning how to handle a performance problem is one of the very first things a new leader should learn how to do. The problem is, for whatever reason, they just don’t. Instead, they often develop all kind of ways to work around performance problems as they work their way up to the executive ranks.

They develop the ability to think strategically, lead change, make a great presentation and other executive skills, but it’s like they skipped class when this skill was taught. (read more…)