Creativity Inventiveness Exploration Thinking out of the box
better: Thinking like there is no box
Thanks for being prepared, present, open and engaging during our workshop!
From the drivers profiles we realized that we can benefit from more explorative, creative and inventive energy in the team.
I have an idea to offer to help develop the skills and mindset relating to exploration drive!
Please watch this TED talk. It’s 13 minutes long but I promise: it’s really practical!
Reflection questions on the video:
What key insights am I getting from the video that are applicable to my work right now?
What is convergent information? What is “the box”? What has shaped “my box” over the course of my education and career?
Considering divergent information & working without direction – What emotions come up for me?
The speaker talks about killing our own or other ideas early – what are my patterns in killing ideas early?
Make a plan for how you will invite more creativity into your work and life:
From the above reflections, what 2-3 things do you realize that you should start doing and stop doing?
The presenter spoke about some creativity methods (Association of ideas, Combination of ideas, Applying old principles in new areas) and gave an example. But there many more practical resources, tools and tricks out there! An example list with lots of great tips to enhance creativity is this list. Research online and pick a few ideas that you commit to trying out (3 are enough!).
What is the environment you need to create for yourself to be more explorative? What changes do you want to make in your work and department to invite more inventiveness, creativity and exploration?
Keep trying – and keep playing with the different skills, until something starts working!
After a team lunch last week we realized that we haven’t yet talked enough about one crucial thing:
Being a recruiter at edge gives you a MILLION opportunities to create IMPACT in the world around you!
1) Your clients’ impact is your impact!
If we’re able to find a successful grant writer for a youth career development program, we’re helping hundreds of vulnerable youth stay in school and become breadwinners in their communities. If we’re successful in attracting top marketing talent to a business bringing solar to Kenya’s transport sector, then the tons of CO2 that will be saved make us feel really proud. Making dozens of phone calls to find empathetic social workers may feel tedious but once the client’s counselling hotline is able to double the number of teenagers in distress reached, it’s all worth it!
At edge we work with some of the most exciting social innovators in East Africa developing solutions to take society forward and we’re part of their success.
2) You connect candidates with their dream jobs
The most obvious way of creating impact is that at the end of a recruitment project a candidate gets an awesome job, one they’ve been dreaming of for some time. To finally move back to Western Kenya, closer to home and the family. To finally take the next step and oversee an entire finance department. To finally leave a toxic work environment and get a leadership role where they can use empowering management styles with their team.
3) You help job seekers learn and develop
At edge we challenge ourselves to consciously design all aspects of the candidate interaction in an empowering way. Usually, only one in 50 or even 300 applicants will get the job, so the process can feel frustrating to candidates. We get creative: How do you give someone who was really hopeful the sad news in a time-efficient manner while sharing relevant career tips with them? How do you run interviews that help you learn the applicant’s true strengths while enabling them present their best selves? Many candidates tell us that through our unique assessment tools they learned more about themselves, and feel more confident and prepared for their future job search.
Amazing initiatives led by our recruitment team such as the Candidate Guide and Career Happiness Center have tens of thousands of readers. Regularly our recruiters add new tips, engaging stories and educative content based on trends they see in the jobseeker market. And in the end you sign up promising candidates to the CV database, even if this time the job wasn’t for them and build a growing community of passionate professionals who are building meaningful careers.
4) They say that to change the world you have to change yourself first
As a recruiter at edge, you constantly raise the bar and challenge your own worldview: By the time you have a candidate shortlist, you’ve interacted with hundreds of professionals committed to building solutions to the most pressing issues of our times. When you screen applications, you read through past achievements and watch video applications of key learnings top professionals have made in their career. You network with senior talent across industries to tap their networks in finding great candidates for your roles. Honestly: Understanding what industry leaders work on and how they think makes you raise your own bar to what an impactful life and career looks like! Aiming for excellence is a winning mindset to shape your life and impact those around you.
Does this sound like the kind of meaning and impact you’re looking for in your career?
Check out the open roles at the bottom of the Join Us page. And tweet us your questions!
The path to success in our recruitment team is not the course you studied, but your critical thinking, your ability to motivate yourself and the energy you put into developing a new range of skills and mindsets!
We’re not going to tell you that it’ll be easy! But as you’ve seen in this article, it’s totally worth it 🙂
Year-end is busy in most organizations: While finishing off current projects and closing a few more deals you’re also planning, budgeting and getting ready for next year.
Whether you call them check-ins, evaluations, reviews or appraisals: Structured individual conversations to evaluate everyone’s contribution and growth this year are crucial to shaping your team for 2020!
Here are the key objectives for these conversations:
Evaluating past performance and growth: What contribution did someone make to their team, department and overall company? Were goals and expectations met? What lessons will be taken forward? And how are we all feeling about the work in the past period?
Gather upwards feedback: How did we do as management this year in terms of helping each person succeed? What should we continue doing? And what can we do better next year? Gather suggestions from people and see what matters to each person.
Shaping and adjusting roles and planning everyone’s desired contribution towards the overall goals and journey.
Setting the bar afresh: What major shifts or changes are coming up, and what will it mean for the expectations towards the team?
As you prepare for the reviews, ask yourself how much conversation time you think should go into each of these topics with each team member. Then give them a tailored list of questions to prepare, allowing at least 3 working days.
Keep in mind that many of your end-year conversations will lead to follow-up conversations at the start of the new year:
For the new performance and development goals you set, more detailed plans will be created and milestones set. Don’t miss to draw up detailed development plans, otherwise, the learning goals will remain fuzzy and not reached.
If someone’s performance was below par, you might want to draw up a Performance Improvement Plan to ensure a turn-around in the upcoming period.
And those who got new roles will now need clarity on their goals, the desired approach, available resources and the collaboration and approval points and lines.
Making it work in start-ups, where realities are a bit different!
We collected FAQ from managers in smaller and sometimes chaotic organizations, and are sharing our advice on how to get started if your scenario is less than perfect (is it ever?).
Scenario 1: Well, we didn’t really set goals or the ones we set weren’t so relevant, looking back. Should we skip the reviews and simply do a better job next year?
No. When you read the list above, you realized that reviews can serve so much purpose besides just going through a 12-month old list of goals. Find your own meaning in the reviews based on how the year in your organization went!
For example: Was it a year of client-orientation? Discuss learnings and results in terms of adding value to the client, then. Or did you talk about picking up speed and increasing results the whole year? Then sit down and dig into everyone’s contribution to efficiency and effectiveness.
Scenario 2: We have never done that. Where do we start?
Excellent. You don’t need any special templates to get started on this. All you need are 4-6 meaningful questions. Share them with the team at least 3 working days before the one-on-one meetings so that everyone has time to prepare. Then simply listen to your team members evaluating their year and answer any questions they may have. Also, share your observations about their contributions this year (ideas and numbers just as much as softer aspects) and what you’ve seen as their strengths.
You can plan to follow-up in January with goal setting to add the next level of structure to your talent management.
Scenario 3: I haven’t really spent much time with the team members this year on one on one. Which topics should I choose?
You might be tempted to try and accomplish a lot in little time. But instead, pick not more than two of the above listed goals for these conversations and avoid rushing things. You’d rather follow-up with another set of conversations and give yourself and the team time to digest in between.
A related scenario is the “I don’t really know my people well enough to review them scenario”. In this case it’s worth seeing who else might have insights, and collect feedback from them before. You can also simply go with a self-assessment (Here are the department results. Tell me all about your contribution, challenges and learnings.) and then move to the forward-looking topics.
It’s also worth asking yourself why you haven’t had time for the team. Write down all your reasons and tackle them one by one in preparation for next year.
Scenario 4: I’m worried about the questions or requests I’ll get from the team
To build a winning company you’ll need dialogue. Reviews are therefore not a one-way street, where you get to talk about your expectations only! Some team members will raise grievances, share challenges faced with colleagues or expect salary increases or bonuses being communicated in year-end reviews.
The key is to take everything you hear serious and to make sure you really understand what your employee is trying to convey. You can brush up your active listening skills before. Don’t feel the pressure to react in the moment or make promises, but be clear on whether and when you will pick these topics up next. If you can, make clarifications in the moment.
Have fun! It’s your team
Gauge the passion and energy people have. How do they feel about their work? Where are they in their lives? Find out who is perfectly positioned in your organization, who needs more support, and who might be disengaged?
Make sure to note down all comments coming from the team, arising questions, ideas and priorities, so that you can analyze what happened afterwards.
Need more support? Talk to us!
We’ve helped dozens organizations think through their performance management process: Whether it’s to translate the gibberish of this blog post for managers without much HR experience, or to take your existing processes to the next level, our tools and support promise a smooth and effective approach.
There, it happened again: Another weekend that you worked through. Or maybe another week without any time for yourself.
You feel like you’re getting into that robotic state where you just tick to-do lists but you’re losing touch with the joy you used to derive from your work. You’re in one meeting, but already thinking of the next one. You drink the coffee, but you can’t taste it actually. The team sits together, but you don’t connect the jokes.
A friend or colleague asks you: Maybe you need a break? “Not now”, you say.
This has happened to many entrepreneurs or managers. Work becomes life. Then work takes over. You feel like you can’t take a break, you’re not replaceable and things won’t move without you.
Take a quick self-test:
When was the last time you took time off for yourself, and truly disconnected from being ‘the success of the company’? Was it more than 3 months ago?
In all honesty: Does your heart still jump up and down with the same excitement when you think of your job, as it did before?
Are you coming up with all kinds of reasons to explain why you can’t take a break (no money, big project, unique opportunities coming up, team needs me)?
Are you irritated and impatient with your team at times, because others seemingly aren’t in the same hard-working zone as you?
What are the 2 main traps you keep falling into when it comes to overworking yourself?
If any of these warning flags apply, then the truth is: You need a break, whether you like the thought or not.
Some of these themes might be helpful for you to play with:
Intention setting: What is the experience you want to live? How do you want to FEEL at the end of the day?
Think Personal Effectiveness: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of business. You slow down, are less creative and miss important details! And let’s be honest: As your grumpy self, you are probably not the most inspiring boss or persuasive salesperson or fundraiser either!
Consider Opportunity Cost: It’s October already. Can’t I power through until the end of the year? Maybe you can. But how much MORE could you get done in November, if you took a much-needed break in October?
Don’t be that boss who can’t let go: Your team needs to be entrusted with business results for them to grow! You want to build a business that outlasts you, don’t you?
Challenge your ego: It gets a lot of gratification from your job but builds a prison for you in the process. Define who are you when you’re not working! If this is a big theme for you, here are a few more tips on overcoming your ego.
Want to start today? What you can do right now:
Write down your fears: What’s the worst that will happen if you take a week or two off? Then look at the list, and see which ones are crucial to manage, and which ones are unrealistic, ego-made ones.
Strategize: What 3 main changes would need to happen in your team for them to survive for 2 weeks without you? What first steps could you take to lead the team in that direction?
Who in the team can you talk to, who will understand how you feel and support you in planning for your break? Ask them for coffee in the next days.
Start small: Take a long weekend! Book a few nights away in a beautiful place, pack your bag with that book that you bought last year and switch off your emails. Draw up a simple leave handover plan, and leave your people with clear instructions and specific goals to achieve during your absence.
Re-Wire your brain: Come up with simple affirmative sentences that you will tell yourself when you are falling into your traps. (No, it’s NOT crazy to talk to yourself! It’s crucial to living the life you want)
Invest in yourself, and come for our entrepreneur’s edition of our Career Masters. We’ll be talking about aligning your personal values to your business, finding the right role for yourself in your start-up and managing your energy. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!
How edge can support?
First of all: We’ll send you for leave, if no one else will – we’ve done it before 🙂
We can also help you think through your leave transition plan, and advise on any processes and structures you may want to set up to avoid frantic phone calls by the team on Day 3 on the beach.
At edge we are passionate about organizations that will create the future of East Africa, be it growth-oriented businesses with innovative products or services or grassroots organizations serving their communities in transformative ways. We are committed to supporting these organizations in achieving their ambitious goals by helping them build highly-effective teams and being attractive, vibrant workplaces.
We’ve helped fill nearly 100 roles in the last five years and interacted with thousands of job seekers in the process. We think recruitment might be your dream career, too! If you’re curious, check out this article about daily life in our recruitment team!
Enough talk – Here are the top reasons why we love working in recruitment!
1. You bring together people who share a passion!
Best moment: Seeing your client and the new hire having a heated debate on the best approach to business growth and expansion!
2. You meet inspiring professionals with amazing experiences!
Best moment: When you realize you’ve stopped taking minutes while interviewing because you’re fascinated by the candidate’s skills, achievements and passion!
3. You help people get fulfilling jobs & the right work environment for them!
Best moment: When you remember an excellent candidate from last year who would just be the perfect fit for this organization! And when you call them, they still remember you as well!
4. Every day is an adventure!
Best moment: When the client calls you to discuss the launch of a new business unit and wants to hire a manager in under a month. You stretch your brain,
5. Your hard work totally pays out!
Best moment: After dozens of phone calls and weeks of crazy busy promotions and going through CVs, the hiring manager makes offers to not just one but two people on your final shortlist!
Are you curious and passionate about a career that helps businesses build highly effective teams? We’re hiring for our recruitment team! If interested, have a look at the different Job Descriptions and APPLY today! Check out this link: www.edgeperformance.co.ke/join-us
One of our team members shares some tips and tricks about applying below.