The Vault: Winning Culture

I decided to reach into the vault for this one.  I wrote this a few years ago and it still holds true.

Let’s face it; working in a shared services organization can be very difficult, especially for front line employees.  Everyone has heard statements such as:

  • “You screwed up our payroll again.”
  • “We didn’t make half of the mistakes you make.”
  • “It was much cheaper when we did it ourselves.”
  • “Why do we need shared services?”
  • “Our vendors are not getting paid timely.”

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Practicing Change: Switch Seats

Last week, we introduced the concept of “Practicing Change”.  Today we introduce one of the simplest changes you can make because it does not require any additional effort or learning to implement and yet it can have a profound effect on your ability to embrace other types of change.  The most difficult part of this change is escaping your own comfort zone.  We all get into a comfortable place within our own homes which makes the home a fantastic environment to experiment with change.  If you have your doubts, sit in the most opposite place in the room where you watch TV and see if it feels different.  I promise, it most definitely will and although this is such an inconsequential change it will stir up a bit of discomfort. [Read more…]

Practicing Change – Why Change is Difficult and How to Make it Easier

Why is it we all find change to be so difficult?  Why do we stick like a burnt pancake to our comfort zone?  Why do organizations struggle so much with change?  The answer is really very simple, we don’t practice change.  Practice makes perfect remember.  Or as basketball coaches used to remind us, perfect practice makes perfect.  I’m not so sure about their take on perfect practice but you get the idea.  We simply do not practice changing our routines, our preferences, our likes.  So based on my theory, I’m suggesting that we start practicing change.  Over the next few weeks I will introduce ideas that will encourage you to “Practice Changing”.  Today, I decided to introduce a very simple change, something I call “Weaker Hand”.

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Summertime Shared Services

As summer rapidly approaches the temperature starts to rise, the sun appears more often and our team’s thoughts often turn to picnics, BBQs and vacations.  So how do you maintain productivity and focus when there are so many other distractions?  It’s really pretty simple;  monitor and incent team goals and results.  Everyone on the team deserves the chance to get away, unwind, relax and enjoy time with their friends and family.

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Shared Services: “Run it Like a Business”

When choosing a shared services leader it is important to pick someone who really knows what it means to “run it like a business”.  Not everyone is well equipped or prepared to do this.  Often times, organizations make the mistake of choosing a leader who is very technically proficient within a particular function(s) but lacking in general manager type skills.  A good shared services leader understands the need to satisfy and sometimes even attract customers, monitor and improve results, motivate diverse teams and continuously do so in an efficient manner.

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Shared Services – Are We Having Fun Yet?

People, process and technology.  How many times have we heard, “it’s really about people, process and technology”?  Too many to count, I’m sure.  Often times, these three components are given equal weight when considering a strategy to optimize a function and while I agree all three are important, it’s vital to remember that people create and use or not use processes and technology.  Since that is a fact, it is crucial we always consider people first when devising solutions.  So what does this have to do with fun you might be asking?  Plenty.

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