Naina Aidasani

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Follow the three phases of thought leadership content to build your company's expertise in marketing.

The 3 Types Of Thought Leadership That Actually Work

Blogs, ebooks, white papers, webinars--in the B2B marketing world, everyone wants to be a thought leader these days, judging from the volume of content that appears on a daily basis.And, done right,... (contd.)
Here is a detailed list of 27 things you can hand to your assistant, freeing you up to do more valuable work.

27 Things To Delegate To Your Assistant To Make Your Life Smoother

Based on the popularity of my earlier article, 10 Tips to Leverage Your Personal Assistant to Get More Done in Less Time, here is a list of 27 things you can ask... (contd.)
Trying to get money for your idea? Stop having coffee dates and do this instead.

The 1 Thing You Need To Do Right Now To Fund Your Startup

Have you got an amazing idea?Is it something that will change the world?Would you give up everything you have to turn your idea into a reality?If you answered yes to those three... (contd.)
How to prioritize two-way communication with your team.

5 Ways To Ensure More Effective Communication Within Your Team

The value of communication between a company's team members can't be overstated. Among other benefits, effective workplace communication builds rapport and trust between colleagues, maintains transparency in the workplace, enables better employee management,... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Founded In The Family: The Gift Making Sisters Of Beirut

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
Before you shoot down their request, consider how this change might improve your business.

6 Ways To Approach An Employee Who Wants To Transition To A New Department

Given the fluidity of most jobs today, it's likely your employees will wear many hats -- and they won't necessarily be restricted to the department they were hired to work in. But... (contd.)
When human resources executive Chris Buhl took the HR helm in North America for Kuehne + Nagel, a leading global logistics company with nearly 70,000 employees in more than 100 countries, he walked in with one big question: How open was the company to the large-scale changes he hoped to lead? When he met Lothar Harings, Kuehne + Nagel's Chief Human Resources Officer, he got his answer. "I remember thinking: This is the type of leader who knows what excellence looks like," recalls Buhl. "This place was fertile ground for new ideas that would lead to transformation in this region and beyond." Three years into Buhl's tenure, that transformation is visible. From training initiatives to fitness competitions, from benefits overhauls to cultural programs, from employee engagement to customer satisfaction, Kuehne + Nagel North America looks a lot different than it did the afternoon Buhl and Harings shared their visions. How does that kind of change happen? What kind of corporate environment did Kuehne + Nagel create that empowers its leaders to successfully drive transformation? We sat down with Harings and Buhl and more than a dozen stakeholders across Kuehne + Nagel to discover the mindset and tactics required to move the needle when it comes to organizational change. Focusing on one initiative, we found what amounts to a change-leadership roadmap, a way of thinking and doing that impact-hungry leaders anywhere can follow in pursuit of sustainable transformation. Step 1: Build a Platform Organizational change initiatives fail for many reasons, but one frequent contributor to failure is the simple absence of a shared concept of excellence. Recognizing this, Harings laid the groundwork for a unifying vision by championing the KN Behaviors, a simple, flexible platform that aligns the organization's vast network around a shared set of comprehensible action areas. Demonstrating Drive + Commitment. Fostering Collaboration + Teamwork. Developing Self + Others. "The KN Behaviors aren't restrictive or confining. They're inspirations," says Harings. "They're directional, a call to elevate our performance." Why does this matter? Because when Buhl began his quest to transform, a language already existed to support the legitimacy of his efforts, and a ubiquitous tool had made its way around the world, waiting to be brought to life. Step 2: Pick a Partner Change inevitably comes from the inside out, of course, but to effectively spark behavior change, sometimes the best move you can make is to enlist a surrogate who can say what you can't, and deliver intelligence from the broader marketplace. To crack open a conversation around the kinds of continuous improvement the company required, Buhl called an outside consultancy he trusted, The Frontier Project, a consulting firm that focuses on driving behavior change via a variety of unique training and communications approaches. Katie Lackey, a partner at Frontier, answered Buhl's call, lit up at the vision, and shared it with her colleagues. Three of the firm's partners agreed to show up to support Buhl's early efforts to host a conversation. As a demonstration of their commitment to the partnership, Frontier offered support to the first two meetings free of charge. That alliance would eventually provide Buhl and his team everything they needed to execute their change strategy: a broad raft of resources, targeted expertise, and tactical support to augment in-house efforts. Step 3: Choose a Priority The eagerness that urges you to build a platform and pick a partner can easily become a problem, if it pushes you to try too much, too fast. Buhl acknowledged this "boil the ocean" pitfall early. After considering a half-dozen objectives the company needed to pursue, he narrowed it down to a single issue, one he felt the company was ready to support and the marketplace was likely to respond to: customer service. Why this topic? "Because there's a clear business outcome linked to improvement in this area," says Buhl. His comment points to one of the determining factors in his choice of platform: Successful transformation narratives require the participation of the right blend of stakeholders. "Customer service spoke to the cultural work HR was interested in, and spoke to the growth efforts the business units were interested in," says Buhl. "We all know that happy employees are more likely to create happy customers. And that good customer service increases retention and the bottom line. This could be -- if we pulled it off -- one of those elusive win-wins." Step 4: Start Small. Iterate Fast. With partner, platform, and priority aligned, the question was "How?" How to move the needle on quality customer service? How to educate and activate each layer of a massive organization? To get to the answer, Buhl commissioned his Learning & Development team to work with his consulting partners to develop a custom training program that would raise the baseline level of customer service across the entire North American region. Together, in partnership, they built a custom curriculum focused on customer service behaviors inside Kuehne + Nagel's context. They created videos and animations to demonstrate mindset and skill adjustments. They published guidebooks and story-based resources to support ongoing change. To ensure it would, in fact, work, Buhl's team set up a series of pilots -- test runs in target offices that would measure the fit and relevance of material to the business. The resulting adjustments, tweaks, and rewrites ensured the final training product had the best chance of sticking. Step 5: Start the Fire. Ask any business unit manager or HR representative who has been exposed to the customer service training and resources, and they'll tell you a similar story: Teams are focusing better, working harder, and sharing stories -- both good and bad -- of efforts to deliver what customers need and want. But "transformation isn't an overnight phenomenon," Harings says. "Since we began the work on the KN Behaviors, we aimed to start a fire, stoke the kindling, and invite others to add to the flame." Soon after the customer service initiative gained traction in North America, Seafreight, the largest business unit of Kuehne + Nagel, began in earnest its own customer service initiative. Building on the work in North America, they're now piloting their own transformation effort, tossing log after log onto a crackling flame. Your Turn Transformation efforts like the one described above are successful for one reason above others: The appetite of a key leader to take a risk. For Buhl, and to any change agent wondering how to start, here's the launchpad: "It's not acceptable for any of us to fill a role in a company, whatever it is, without asking what could we be doing better. We'll all look back on our lives and ask, 'What did I do?' To answer that question well, we've got to put something on the line."

Want to Transform Your Organization? Here’s Your Roadmap.

When human resources executive Chris Buhl took the HR helm in North America for Kuehne + Nagel, a leading global logistics company with nearly 70,000 employees in more than 100 countries, he... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Founded In The Family: The Egyptian Couple Who Are Making You Meet Your Match

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Founded In The Family: Chari Cycles’ Rania & Zaina Kanaan On Pedalling Together To Success

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Founded In The Family: The Box Brothers Trying To Make Your Daily Life Easier

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Founded In The Family: The Couple Behind mrUsta On How They Make It Work

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
Taking your work home with you? You have nothing on the entrepreneurs working with family.

Better Together: The Wrestlers

Part of our "Better Together" Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good... (contd.)
If a vast canyon exists between your current position and the goal you desire, ask the following questions and leap the barrier courageously.

The Quiet Skill Every CEO Needs But Very Few Possess

  According to scientific research described in a recent issue of The New Yorker, successful entrepreneurs tend to be overconfident. Whether they're starting a company or working within one, they envision an outcome... (contd.)
Be warned: You might need to keep the tissues handy.

Bill Gates Says This Is The Best Nonfiction Book He’s Read For Ages

If you're looking for book suggestions to fill your reading list this year, you could do a lot worse that follow the blog of Microsoft-founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates. The book-loving billionaire regularly uses... (contd.)
They will take you less than five minutes.

4 Easy Fixes That Actually Make Your Resume Stand Out

If you're like most job seekers, the thought of sitting down to update your resume can seem pretty darned unpleasant. Anxiety provoking. Full-on dreadful.You get the drift.Part of the reason it feels... (contd.)

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