Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Goose V

When you see geese flying in a “V formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It’s been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range then if each bird flew on its own.

Basic Truth #1: Like geese, people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling using the power of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Basic Truth #2: There is strength and power in numbers when traveling in the same direction as others with whom we share a common goal. Those elements that help guide our direction don’t do any good unless they are communicated. Communication is not just putting information out, it’s about facilitating and ensuring that the information is heard and understood.

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates to the back of the “V” formation and another goose flies point.
Basic Truth #3: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs – with people or with geese flying. In order to truly help and support our co-workers, it’s important to understand their function and responsibility. Some of the more specific skills and abilities may not be common to all team members but some are and the values that guide our direction are. Become curious about other functions within your office and the organization. Learn things that will enable you to help others fly.


The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Basic Truth #4: Those who are exercising leadership need to be remembered with our active support and praise. Recognition is not just for those that are following. Encourage from behind. Let our leaders know that their efforts are appreciated. Encourage all that are helping us to keep up the speed because at some point it’s going to be our turn and we might need that encouragement ourselves.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Achieve Your Goals

Make this the time that your organizational plans and personal dreams come true! Setting realistic, measurable goals will help you achieve these things. Not sure how to start? Here are some tips to set achievable goals.

Think Big
Based on a vision of the future or an overall objective, what is one thing that would improve your life or the organization’s effectiveness dramatically? Whether it pertains to getting healthy, ridding yourself of debt or improving organizational performance, think of one key thing that would give the biggest boost and then make that your goal.

Analyze habits and behaviors
Organizations and people have bad habits and behaviors; don’t let them sabotage hard work. Once you’ve thought of a goal, ask yourself these questions:
  • What current habits or behaviors will help reach the goal?
  • What current habits or behaviors will impede efforts?
For example, if your goal is to run a marathon and you’re already running or working out a few times a week, your current fitness habits will help you reach your goal. However, if the last time you ran was during an elementary school field day, you’ll have to make running a habit so that you can achieve your goal.

Write it down
A goal not written down is only a wish. Many studies have taken place showing that writing down a goal improves the chances of achieving it.
  • Be specific. The more specific the goal the better. Instead of saying “I will lose weight”, say “I will lose 20 pounds and drop two pants sizes”
  • Document indicators. How will you know that you are making progress toward the goal? For organizational goals, this is the measurement piece.

Break it down
Sports fans should be able to understand that there are several things that happen in order to reach a goal. For instance, in football the overall objective and vision may be to win the game but those yellow posts in the end zones are the goal. To reach it plays are executed that move us closer to the goal one down at a time. A play takes performing little tasks that all combine over time to successful execution.

Seek out support
Especially with personal goals, remember that you don’t have to do this on your own. You certainly should not be the only one to know about your goal and efforts. Sharing your goals with someone else can be motivating and add an element of accountability. There are likely people around you who can play a significant part in helping you achieve your goals. Returning to the sports analogy, for both personal and organizational goals, there might be other players on your team that can give an assist.

Jeff Wright
Organizational Performance Consultant