The 5 levels of change

We face opportunities and challenges everyday. Taking advantage of the opportunities or managing the challenges involves change and maybe moving workers out of their comfort zone. Each challenge or opportunity requires different management and change level. The following is a spectrum of change levels that will cover almost every challenge faced in business.

Level 1: Improve efficiency

2014-12-19 20.51.12Improve efficiency by determining if workers are putting the right effort at the right place. Take a look at the current work practices and if the workers are doing what they are suppose to do.
Worker competence and willingness to work are two major factors at this level. Superstars in box 1 are those who are competent and willing to work. They are go-getters who you only need to describe the job for them and they will execute it flawlessly. Workers in box 2 are good workers who are willing to work, but not competent enough to execute a faultless job. Training and development are the solution to increase the workers’ efficiency in this box. Competent and experienced workers in box 3 are unwilling to do their jobs for different reasons. Motivation may help improve the efficiency in box 3 but the workers are choosing not to work for different reasons. Workers in box three knows the rules and regulations, knows the lube holes, shortcuts and exceptions. Troublemakers are usually found in this box and the leader or manager should be careful with them. Workers in box 4 are either new workers or older workers who’ve been moved to a new job without proper training. Their unwillingness to work may be affected by their incompetence or the neglect they feel after they have been assigned to their new role. The leader should either replace workers in the box or train and motivate them to do their jobs.

Level 2: High performance.

Importance vs UrgencyExecuting the right business process. Focus on the important and not urgent part of the business before they become important and urgent. Important and urgent businesses are usually executed in a firefighting mood which lead to mistakes or substandard jobs. Organize work by using the right procedures and setting priorities with key performance indicators and milestones. Pareto Principle states that 80 percent of all the things being done are executed by 20 percent of the right effort by the right people. Assign the right workers with the right resources to high yielding part of the business.

Level 3: Improve, eliminate and copy.

Cut or improve some of the steps from the best process recognized for the business. In level 2 we selected to automate processes to conduct the organizational business, but we need to improve or trim some of the redundant steps that take up time and recourses with little or no positive effect. Redesign the business process by eliminating the unnecessary steps, improve vital steps and imbed best practices in the process. Revisit the business process with fresh and unbiased eyes. Some of the steps in the process were put to inflate somebody’s ego. Other steps were useful for many years, but became absolute now. Some activities and regulations are practiced in the organization for no apparent reason. When asked, the workers will say “we always do it this way, but we are not sure why!” Simple questions can reveal a lot of wrong practice. The same simple questions can be directed to top management and floor workers.

2014-12-17 08.53.29Organization’s do not work soon. Competitors with similar products are produced by similar processes or even better. The organization should explore how others are executing their businesses and find ways and means to adapt them in the organization. Change will always have resistance from workers living in their comfort zone. Not Invented Here (NIH) is one of the hurdles that workers used to stop or even sabotage processes or practices they did not develop internally in the organization. Workers ego and selfishness will find faults and difficulties in the new best practices they did not develop. Resistance can be handled by explaining or demonstrating the benefits of the new best practice and how it may help the workers in their daily work.

Level 4: Think out of the box.

Brainstorm new idea nobody thought could be possible or feasible. The new ideas may have a slim chance to succeed, but experimenting with these ideas after careful thought may yield great results. The new ideas may lead to other possibilities worth further exploring. Integration between different tools or technologies can result in different possibilities and products. New ideas are always welcome, but implementing them will face Great resistance. Change management is a major factor in getting the new ideas go through the comfort zone.

Level 5: Breakthrough.

Complete shift in the thinking paradigm. In this level the business owner was exploring new territories that never been explored before. The breakthrough might be in changing the future direction by more than 90 degrees. Intel dropped the memory chip business and pursued the processor business. Steve Job reduced the Apple products from 12 to only fore after his legendary return to Apple.


Simplified Business Coaching

Businbusiness_grey_stickmen_shake_hands_pc_800_clr_1570ess coaching provides the business owner time and space to stand down and reflect on the overall business. Business coaching will give the leadership team the opportunity to voice their concerns, discuss their challenges, and future circumstances. Business and personal coaching are similar, to some extent, to sport coaching because the coach will help the individuals to discover their true capabilities and overcome mentally set limitations. 

Business and personal coaching are both build on the trust between the coach and the client. A professional coach asks the right question at the right time to provoke the client thoughts and imagination. Business coaching is located between therapy and consulting. The coach’s power-questions inspire the client to search through his or her experience to find new answers and the means to overcome the challenge or solve the problem.

For more information on coaching and to request a free professional online coaching session please click here.


Is Balanced Scorecard easy to do?

custom_life_balance_13780Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a management tool to measure the organizational implementation of the vision and strategy against the business and operating Key Performance Indicators (Carpenter & Sanders, 2009). BSC transform the strategy into tangible and intangible performance measures that make the strategy a dynamic process (Carpenter & Sanders, 2009). BSC is an innovative method to dissect and direct the strategy into four principles. The principles or categories that each strategy should have are finance, external relations, internal business process, and learning and growth. The vision and strategy can be mapped through the BSC information to give a clear representation of the strategy to the stakeholders and shareholders.

Some organizations think that BSC is a complete waste of resources and takes time to set up the required measures (Linna & Seal, 2009). The measure maybe is outdated and need change within a few months. Success in the internal processes or human resources is sometimes not rewarded (Linna & Seal, 2009); however, the rewards are usually linked to the financial measures only. BSC may be a good performance dashboard if the tangible measures are updated frequently, however BSC will not be dynamic enough when most of the measures are intangible and cannot be updated frequently.


Carpenter, M. A., & Sanders, W. G. (2009). Strategic management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Linna, Y., & Seal, W. (2009). The balanced scorecard. Financial Management (14719185), 27-28.

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كيفة وضع الاهداف الشخصية والمهنية

I would like to apologize to the blog visitors and readers for presenting this post (video) in Arabic language. Many visitors and friends asked me to blog in Arabic and this is my first start in the blog.

Part 1

Part 2

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Locus of Control

Locus of control is an indicator of the individual’s sense of control over their successes and failures (Navahandi, 2006). Individuals’ beliefs that events they are experiences are due to luck, fate, or their own behavior (Scott et al., 2010). Individuals with strong internal locus of control believe that their success and failures are caused their actions. Individuals’ with strong external locus of control believe that what is happening to them is the result of chance, luck, or fate (Navahandi, 2006; Scott et al., 2010). Navahandi (2006) stated that leaders with strong internal locus of control are more likely to lead their teams better than leaders with internal locus of control. Managers and leaders with external locus of control believe that external threats are unmanageable, but the ones with internal locus of control believe they can cope with stress and handle their future (Scott et al., 2010).


Navahandi, A. (2006). The art and science of leadership (4 ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Scott, S. L., Carper, T. M., Middleton, M., White, R., Renk, K., & Grills-Taquechel, A. (2010). Relationships among locus of control, coping behaviors, and levels of worry following exposure to hurricanes. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 15(2), 123-137. doi: 10.1080/15325020902925985

Wood, A. M., Saylor, C., & Cohen, J. (2009). Locus of control and academic success among ethnically diverse baccalaureate nursing students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30(5), 290-294.

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Technical Position Training

Technical employees need intensive technical training but also need managerial and leadership training to advance in their jobs. Some organizations start the administrative and managerial training too late which make the technical employees struggle in approving and implementing their ideas.

Technical Position Training Model

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What Is Right For The Business?

Many employees work very hard to perform their  daily tasks, but they make mistakes and got blamed for it. The first reaction from their superiors is to look for the obvious mistakes and shortfalls in following the plans, procedure or regulations. Catching the obvious mistake is easy but will only solve the problem momentarily. Eliminating the cause of the problem is very difficult. Sometimes, the organization needs to change the procedures, review their assumptions or even ask themselves if they need the workers to perform that task at all. The following discussion and examples will show how mistakes and errors can take place and how we can we eliminate these mistakes immediately and permanently. Long term solutions needs time, effort and big budget, but eliminating a reoccurring problem will worth the cost, effort and time spent. Read More …

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards

Managers at work and parents at home are searching for the best reward to give. Rewards are two types, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic reward is a feeling of accomplishment after achieving a challenging task. The intrinsic reword do not need another person’s comments or encouragement, it is, rather a self-fulfillment feeling the worker sense after completing his or her tasks (Schermerhorn et al., 2008). Intrinsically motivated workers perform their tasks with impulsive experience of interest, excitement and satisfaction (Selart, Nordström, Kuvaas, & Takemura, 2008). Extrinsic rewards can be intangible like a public praise or being the employee-of the-month, but extrinsic rewards can be tangible similar to cash payment or benefits (Schermerhorn et al., 2008; Selart et al., 2008). The basic extrinsic needs are receiving external rewards or avoiding punishment (Fullagar & Mills, 2008).


Fullagar, C. J., & Mills, M. J. (2008). Motivation and flow: Toward an understanding of the dynamics of the relation in architecture students. Journal of Psychology, 142(5), 533-556.

Selart, M., Nordström, T., Kuvaas, B., & Takemura, K. (2008). Effects of reward on self-regulation, intrinsic motivation and creativity. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 52(5), 439-458. doi: 10.1080/00313830802346314

Schermerhorn, J. R., Hunt, J. G., & Osborn, R. N. (2008). Organizational Behavior (10 ed.). NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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Sugar Coating

Listen to this postYesterday was my anniversary at work. I have been with the same employer for the past 30 years and I enjoyed most of the days I worked there. Now I am managing more that 700 employees and I have tried to be fair with them while meeting most of their needs, requests and demands. One of the best tactics the employees use for their complains is “Sugar Coating”. I am not saying that the complain is true or not, but the way it is presented to me is sometimes strange.

For example, an employee would take an appointment to see my Boss and then start his discussion by saying “This is not a complain, I just wanted to say…” and then he or she would exaggerate every negativity they experienced in the last 3 years! Another example is when the employee send an official complain to HR or my Boss, but then catch me walking by and start by saying “I wanted to talk with you about an issue I have … do you have a minute do discuss it?

We all make mistakes and we should take our responsibilities to admit the mistakes and correct them. But using different ways to discuss the complain is not the best start to resolve any issue. Through my years at work I followed a good philosophy that goes something like this “Do not explain…and Do not complain” and it made my life very simple and peaceful. I am sure that my boss does not want me to explain to him why I made the mistake (or delay in an assignment). And I am very sure that nobody would like to set and listen to my complains. When I make a mistake I would admit it and do my best to correct it. If I have a complain or an issue with somebody, I would meet him or her and discus the issue face-to-face with them. Other than this … life is very simple.

Waiting For That Promotion

Listen to this postA time will come during our long careers when we would wait for that important promotion. Naturally, most of the promotions involve a decision to select you between different candidates. Office politics and favoritism may have some affect on the selection but finally the selection is made and you will know about it in one of the following ways:

  1. You are called into one of your Bosses offices and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were the best choice. You tell your self “finally they noticed me, I don’t now why it took them so long?” If you are promoted then you need to gain new knowledge and learn new skills to fulfill the job requirement. What you have learn so far was enough to get you the promotion, but your current capabilities are not enough to survive and thrive. First you to learn what it takes to do your new job, and then you have to improve your skills and knowledge to be ready for the next promotion.
  2. You are called into one of your Bosses office and told that they have thought about the selection and how difficult was the decision to select between you and the others, but at the end you were not the chosen one. You blame everybody and everything (except yourself) for not getting the promotion. You have to understand why you did not get that promotion. What were the reasons for not selecting you. What was the selection criteria and in which part you were not competitive. Start immediately working on your weaknesses and get ready for the next opportunity.
  3. You are not called, or you don’t know about the selection process and you would be the last one to know that somebody else was promoted and you have missed the chance. You feel that you were cheated or stupid. If you were not aware of the opportunity then you need to improve your networking skills. However, if the opportunity was keep secret on purpose then you should consider changing your employer. Go ahead and find another employer who appreciate your work and give you equal opportunities with other candidates.
By the way, if you are not ready for a promotion or there are no promotions for you in the near future then you have to think seriously about your career.
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