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  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on May 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Enterprise Social Network: combined showcase and monitoring centre 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Enterprise Social Network: combined showcase and monitoring centre

    A few weeks ago I attended a forum organised by the Spanish People Management and Development Association (AEDIPE) at which a senior Telefónica executive brought up something which has not yet been given the attention it deserves: “We no longer find the most copious, reliable and up-to-date information about our employees in conventional sources and files, but rather on social networks.”

    It would be an exaggeration to say that the information we find on social networks is the most substantial, but it is true that what you can get there is much better than has been available up to now.

    Proper design and appropriate use of the social networks environment brings us two very important advantages:

    1. Information  you do not usually get through traditional channels. For example, our competitors’ customer satisfaction, demand for and inclusion of specific professional profiles in certain projects, a customer’s executive staff mobility, etc.
    2. The prospect of directly influencing areas of interest to our company, spreading the right news stories with clear-cut messages, building corporate image or contributing knowledge to prominent open forums.

    Every day there are nearly four hundred million tweets and Microsoft says that over 80% of Internet users regularly participate in social networks.

    This two-fold opportunity – monitoring centre and showcase at the same time – cannot be handled superficially, especially when you consider that reports say that 35% of users use social networks to find a product, thus ousting traditional search engines.

    (More …)

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Managers… Born or Made? 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    The time of the industrial era has definitely passed in which the business organization gave rise to plots almost completely sealed from those who thought, those who worked and those who controlled. In this setting, the manager was essentially the controller, taking on a role in which his/her competence was measured above all by the attainment of objectives through hierarchical organizations.

    Today, the new management philosophy flags the information and service as necessary elements for the effective functioning of organizations that, in a progressive way, abandon the hierarchy and substitute it with the collective. This change is not trivial, it is the opposite: it very directly introduces the need for leadership in a manager 2.0, and this takes us to confront the question- Is leadership is an aptitude with which one is born with? Or an ability that is made? 

    I am going to venture: the two of them. But not in the way– yes or no– as if to evaluate the kindness of a piece of code. It is not easy to address this question, but its difficulty does not excuse us from doing so.

    If hierarchies weaken, on one hand, while reinforcing coordination requirements; on the other hand, there is no choice but to invigorate the interstitial loops holding the organization together and keep people closely connected with the organization. Here, a manager 2.0’s role is located- leader by demand. 

    (More …)

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Manager 2.0: A One-Man Band? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    For the last 10 or 15 years, technology consulting companies have consolidated a complex professional figure around project management and professional groups: the manager. Thus people with the following profile are appointed: important academic training, between the ages of 30 to 40, little field experience specifically oriented to technology, but yes to experience in management, personal skills and social standards, professional career ambition, and vocation to take on responsibilities.

    The fast growth of many companies has been based on the creation of hierarchical structures in which the manager has played a major role as a linker between business strategy and technical mass. The manager’s role has been to design and implement, with great agility, the tactical approaches to respond the objectives of the first, and at the same time be able to organize and direct the second. The result can be described as acceptable, with an important caveat.

    The same business strategies that created the breeding ground for the environment of management did not put enough care to accompany such professionals in their professional development in the long term and, consequently, little foresaw the high degree of pressure to which they are subject. The high domestic and foreign competition, and the need for continuous updated training to cover the gap in competent management teams

    The manager has to negotiate, represent the company, select, evaluate, motivate and directly direct other professionals, whom may be more prepared in the technical content than the manager, produce proposals and, many times, sell them, etc.  A myriad of hats that fit more or less on the manager’s head but have not been made or adapted to suit him/her. (More …)

     
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  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Manager and oral communication: 10 tips 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    In my previous post, I spoke about five premises for good public speaking. On the task, managers must follow certain patterns of behavior that enables them to do it properly.

    1. Listening: People who are successful in public speaking are those who know how to listen, watch and understand.

    2. Generosity: Your priority should not be focused on flaunting your discourse skills. You don’t need to show off, but help the audience with your speech.

    3. Prepare your speech: Many managers are not willing to spend the time needed on properly preparing their interventions. Do it by preparing a clear, short script.

    4. Control your fear of the stage: Despite being in a position of authority and possessing the right knowledge, many people become very nervous, unable to overcoming the stress of having to face an audience. The problem is not the competition, rather confidence in yourself.

    5. Oral language: Use a rich but simple vocabulary , employ clear, precise and to-the-point sentences and paragraphs; add irony and humor in their right measure.

    6. Your voice: Warm up before starting. It is a good idea to breathe slowly and deeply before starting your speech.

    7. Body language: Our oral communication can be enhanced or impoverished depending on how we accompany it with our body language. Carefully control your movements, avoid abrupt gestures, and make visual contact with the audience.

    8. Support media: For many years, PowerPoint presentations have been an unarguable part of presentation. They have advantages but can also kill spontaneity and freshness . Avoid presentations packed with text that encourage the listener to read during the talk.

    9. Manage your time: This goes for both extremes: if you are too short on time, you will stumble; if you have too much, you collapse, and although it seems strange, you end up with even more time.

    10. Assessment a posteriori: any talk or speech has a purpose. When you finish, strictly measure the result . The time and effort used in preparing and giving the speech will be worth it (or not), depending on the result, and should result in corrective measures.

    Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990.


     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on July 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , public speaking   

    The Manager and oral communication: five premises for good public speaking 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    It is increasingly important in Management positions that professionals’ skills include knowing how to speak well. A manager spends half of his time carrying out tasks that involve speaking. To achieve that goal of speaking well, there are five premises that must be considered.

    1. We always have an audience. Speaking in public is not necessarily just a task for professional public speakers or for exceptional occasions. When we speak it is because there is someone there to hear our words and we still need to look after the content and the form of the speech although the discourse may not be given in a room packed with people, rather in a routine business meeting with a small team of colleagues.

    2. Public speaking is a skill that is trained and learned. It is often thought that public speaking is a gift that some people are lucky to be born with and others are denied. That’s not true. When we speak, we learn. Handling the elements of speech, knowing words and their meanings, and acquiring the structures of language is not an innate phenomenon generated spontaneously, rather a progressive process throughout our lives which never ends. By practicing, we can become capable of giving long, brilliant speeches with the right content.

    3. Choose the right level of competency that you want to achieve. In Management positions, we generally are not referring to professional speakers, but people who, according to Whitmore’s model, must achieve a conscious level of competence. In other words, a level at which the task can be performed with notable elegance but in order to do that, the individual must focus their attention and time on suitably intense training directed towards the objective.

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  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on May 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The executive and correctly managing time 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    For any professional, correctly managing time is essential as from it comes, in almost all security, efficiency in all the tasks performed. For an executive even more so, as in executive positions, the pressure of the surroundings is high and tends to cause distortion in personal organization which, when frequent, causes a reduction in performance, a fatalist resignation, and undesired stress.

    As opposed to what is commonly thought, time management is not a natural skill that some people have and others don’t. We aren’t born with the ability to organize ourselves; it is learnt and thanks to it, significant improvements in performance are achieved in all tasks carried out. Nonetheless, we admit that some people possess a sense of order, a natural inclination that usually is shown at an early age.

    On the other hand, we must remember that time is a resource with three characteristics that make it unique:
    • It is available to anyone. Most resources have a “property”: money to invest, books to study, instruments of any type, etc. Time doesn’t; we all can have time.
    • Everyone has the same quantity of time. An hour, a day, a month… are exactly the same for everyone.
    • It is inevitably used. Whether we like it or not, in any task time will come into play, unlike other resources where their use is usually optional.

    As a result, managing time is no different to that of any other resources we have available.To do it correctly, you just need to combine good task management with the right management of the independence with which we can perform the task. And those are the skills in which in many cases can be improved with learning and training.

    Nothing better than to have a line-up of practical, short and concise advice, that when handled properly and subject to a strict discipline should result in the disappearance of the eternal “time problem”, captured in endless work hours, to-ing and fro-ing from work to home, “it’s Friday again”, etc. For executives, the need is two-fold. You are responsible for your own time and for others’.

    Tips for correctly managing time

    1. Stop interruptions, that come suddenly, without notice, or by rebound. Be a little selfish.
    2. Know your priorities. Know how to ask for them and do not take on tasks unless you have done it beforehand. Working blindly without priorities can generate subsequent errors and dissatisfaction.
    3. Be FIFO (first in first out). Don’t accumulate old tasks. Finish them off in order. Only change this natural order with the appearance of emergencies and, in some cases, with the change in the established priorities.
    4. Don’t be overconfident. Know your own limits and don’t exceed them. Doing it, generates barren exhaustion and detachment if it is directed at others.
    5. Handle five things at most at one time or homogenous time period.
    6. Don’t be a perfectionist. The best is usually the enemy of the reasonably good. From the point where the marginal benefit is zero, time becomes gold. Not before that.
    7. Know how to waste time every now and again. Releasing tension, resting, relaxing are activities that also have a place in our time resource.
    8. Be an owl. Watch, process, decide and act. If possible, without hesitation.

    Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990.

    At Zyncro, we care about correctly managing time and we believe that an Enterprise Social Network can help you and your team to improve productivity. If you still haven’t tried Zyncro, try it free now and be convinced. If you don’t believe us, you can download the whitepaper in which we give you practical case studies of companies that have 😉

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on April 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: continuous training, , , , , , ,   

    The People Manager as a Trainer 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    In this blog, I highlighted a few weeks ago how positive it is that the expression “human resources management” is being replaced by “people management”. It’s not something trivial. The temptation to treat people exclusively as resources has been enticing and has brought with it attitudes that are not favorable for their overall management, beyond the mere administration.

    People management is not solely the responsibility of the departments created for such purpose in organizations. It is the asset and unavoidable obligation of those professionals who are responsible for managing others in their organization. It includes diverse functions, however today I would like to highlight one in particular, perhaps the one most forgotten: continuous training. And never a word better used than continuous, meaning: without interruption, without need for prior planning and without resorting to the well-known liturgy of classrooms, audiovisual media and reserved timetables. All the above is not strictly necessary for training people, although obviously it helps.

    Has anyone ever told, for example, a sales director to not provide training in sales techniques himself whenever the opportunity arises with his agents? Has any ever stopped a production manager from continuously transmitting his experience to the engineers under his command? Of course not. There is no people management or human resources (or however you want to call it) department that can regulate substitutes, more or less dressed up as academics, that highly personalized, enormously practical and directly focused training for the organization’s benefit. Training that is given in the day-to-day, in the work meetings, in the individual conversations and in any act that includes the slightest touch of communication.

    However, on many occasions it happens like that. Managers omit with excessive frequency and ease the responsibility of giving that ideal training and clumsily resort to the cruddy “you’ll have such and such training program” or “they give me people that don’t need training”, unacceptable clichés in a modern idea of people management.

    We shouldn’t manage, at a level, without explicit desire to train the people managed. And that should not sound like out-dated altruism, please. On the contrary, it is not just the most noble of the acts in management, but also the most profitable, in terms of benefit for the people, without a doubt, but also for the organization that houses them.

    To train people, not resources, first we need to know what their learning processes are. This way, the corresponding teaching procedures can be adapted. Not everyone learns in the same way; as a result, you can’t teach them in the same way. In formal education of groups, it is difficult to individualize those procedures, but when it is daily training from management, it can be done. It’s often enough to want to do it and to provide the personal means to do it.

    There are five learning processes that we people use: stimulus association, consequence association, imitation, peer mediation, and reflection. A combination of these can occur, and in fact, it almost always does. In each person, there is a dominant process and the other that accompany it. These five processes have another number of procedures for teaching associated: adapting the practice conditions, increase feedback, show, provide guidelines, and invite reflection. Also here “each teacher has their own book”, i.e. there is a dominant procedure. From conjunction between them, that training to which I refer will emerge spontaneously, and the figure of the manager as a people trainer will be recovered.

    Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990.

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on March 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Person vs. Human Resource 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we’d like to welcome a new author to our blog, who joins the team of Zyncro contributors as an expert in Human Resources and management. Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990. Welcome and thanks for participating!

    Some of us celebrate that in recent times the description Personnel Management has been recovered, at least in associations and forums, over and above the term Human Resource Management, which was in fashion in companies since the mid 90s. Personally, I consider the latter to be rather restrictive.

    The trends that mark modern HR management focus with a marked priority on productive and administrative aspects, to the point that at times it reached the extreme of comparing people with organizational, economic and material resources. How many times have we heard something so superficial as the cruddy saying “human resources are the main asset of our organization”, when in reality human resources were handled as another entry in the balance sheet? In our business culture here in Spain, these trends—of which there are many excellent ones to be admired and adopted without hesitation—were imported from models that were almost always of English-speaking origin.

    Fortunately, that is not the only personnel management conduct that we have imported in these parts. Together with it, skills development and coaching or mentoring are realities that enrich the treatment given to people in business organizations. In general, we can say that, in a fair balance, it is just as restrictive to consider personnel as mere resources as to ignore that, when they are part of a productive chain, they are just that.

    Professionals who manage or coordinate work teams—not just those who specifically belong to the Human Resources area or have that academic training—must contemplate the totality of the individual as a Person who occasionally becomes a Human Resource when they are linked corporatively.

    A soccer player, for example, when he belongs to a team is a resource; he is always a person. It would be a pity and a waste for their bosses to exclusively manage them in those aspects that have to do with their administration and to measure them only by their results. This would limit both the personality of the individual as well as their contribution in achieving objectives. Unfortunately, on occasions that treatment continues, and despite there being attested experiences where a resolute, open and continuous attention given to the Person, it is the most efficient way in achieving the objectives of the organizations, as well as the most gratifying relationship for both parts. So the term Personnel Management is a welcome term, if that means having a vision like that contemplated here.

    Getting back to the professionals who manage people, i.e. who should look after their recruitment, integration, motivation, management, evaluation and training. Maybe some aspect has been lost in the inkwell depending on the content we give to each of these functions. This concerns all those who manage and coordinate Personnel, who apply it according to the rules given by a higher body of business but with their own style and beliefs within a level of autonomy that, in general, is very wide. I don’t know any policy that sets limits on continuous training that a manager gives to his subordinates through the most basic coexistence. At times, the limitation results from not having enough budget for the given training. But that is not an excuse for the Director of Personnel, whatever the scope and level at which they move, to renounce their training side and abdicate their responsibility as regards that behavior affecting the results and the satisfaction of their employees.

    People are the main asset of the organization and more than a mere resource. In your company, do you share this vision or do you still need to make the change from Human Resource Management to Personnel Management?

     

     
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