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Ideas to ignite your personal, team and company performance

Welcome to the Evolving Strategies monthly newsletter providing you with ideas to ignite personal, team and company performance during change. Evolving Strategies is a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, change and lead. Have a topic or challenge you'd like to see addressed? Email us. Thank you - Sandy

"Why Not Us?”
This question posed by world champion Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday evening nicely sums up what Work Unit Climate means to me. 
In January, we started our themed blogging series with Work Unit Climateone of 12 interacting dimensions of the Burke Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change. Work Unit Climate relates to how employees think, feel and what they expect. It shapes employee motivation and performance in important ways. What ‘why not us?’ question could you pose to your team to impact their performance: …to be best in your industry? …to delight your customer beyond expectations? …to collaborate in ways you haven’t before?

Your retweets and shares of each blog across various social platforms tell us that our first theme was well-received. Thank you for getting the word out on leading change successfully.  

This month, we will focus on the Individual & Organizational Performance dimension to support you in the performance appraisal period. How do you demonstrate that your individual efforts this past year align with corporate results? As leaders, how should you gauge or even coach your team members' achievements against corporate benchmarks? Read our weekly blogs in February to learn more. We start with this month's first blog post below.

We invite you to enjoy our updated website, streamlined with a cleaner look and feel and better search capabilities on your mobile devices and desktop.     
If you are in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, visit us in our newly opened Southwest office on Travis Street. We'd love to show you around.

Performance Reviews: The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ...,
– Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-1919). Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States.

Facing difficulties writing your yearly self-review - a necessary duty for most employees? How do we use a flawed even subjective performance system to our advantage? Karen offers tips to help set up your review for a year-long success. Download our template matrix to write the self-review with your manager in mind, even build a mutually beneficial work relationship with your reviewer!    more
Last Month's Recap: Work Unit Climate

How are interrelationships in your work environment? Are the impressions holistic and conducive for growth and learning; or are communications contentious? What about the leadership (or even collective) expectations - positive or competitive? No one should work it alone. We can all be better together.
In January, four writers offer recommendations to nurture constructive relations among members of your team, between your team and your clients, between teams, and also throughout the organization. Check out the reflection questions in each blog to help you exercise the writers' recommendations at work!

[Within the team] Climate (and) Change: wuc = e3 (by Sandra Schwan)

“The environment is everything that isn't me.
– Albert Einstein, (1879-1955), German-born physicist who developed the theory of relativity. He is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
What exactly is work unit climate (wuc)? Find out how we can build one conducive for team members to perform and stay motivated. Throughout this year, we will delve into 12 dimensions that impact change, starting with how the climate of your work unit impact you and your colleagues.    more

[Team and Customers] (A Journey of) Transforming Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones (by Irene Hayes)

“But you can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker. The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time. You can build an airy city out of ruins.”
– Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium. Lauren (1982-Present) is an American author known for her young adult books.
Would you dare risk both career and reputation to inspire a culture of excellence in a work climate hamstrung by regulations, whose service inspires the customers' dread? Read how Carole built empathy between her team and their customers, developed her staff, and leveraged the team's internal experiences to ultimately receive the distinction of joining an elite group of 200 organizations!    more

[Across Teams] Walk a Mile in My Shoes (to build effective relationships (by Brian Strayer)

“Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.”
– From the song, Walk A Mile In My Shoes (1970), by Joe South. Joe (1940-2012) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
How often does your customer-facing team(s) and technologies team(s) standoff over disagreements? As leaders, how do we walk a mile with not one but both camps? Read about Brian's experiences turning contentious relations (between the teams,) into collaborative respect amongst his stakeholders, shorter development timelines plus resource alignments!    more

[Organization wide] Build T.R.U.S.T to Create a Climate of Community (by Allison Youngblood)

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
– John Donne, No Man is an Island. John Donne (1572-1631) was an English poet, satirist, lawyer, and cleric. He is among the pre-eminent representatives of the metaphysical poets.
Concluding January's theme on Work Unit Climate, what have we learned about setting a conducive and productive stage for our group? One thing's for sure: technology is not a panacea. Allison elaborates how we as leaders, can create (and drive) a work climate of collaboration and community - by building T.R.U.S.T and accessibility (from the individual to group to organization-wide)!    more
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About Sandy Schwan:
Sandy is the managing partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, change and lead. 
Community Section

Celebrating the Lunar New Year festival
Wishing Edwin Lee, John Sng and, all my colleagues and friends in Asia Pacific, a wonderful lunar new year celebration to mark the Year of the Horse.

Congratulations to
Mark Clare

Congratulations to Mark Clare, former fellow adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University and one of nine winners of the Leaders Everywhere Challenge, the second leg of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation.
Connect with
Sandy Schwan 

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