Leaders' Newsletter - Leading From the Field: January 2016
The Promise of a New Year and More!
Leaders' Newsletter January 2016
Welcome to this month's issue of "Leading from the Field."
Hi Greetings!,

Welcome to the January 2016 issue of "Leading from the Field." 

In this issue:
  • Leading from the Field - The Promise of a New Year!
  • What I am Reading: Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Basics to Today's Young Talent by Bruce Tulgan
  • Press Releases and Awards
  • 2016 First Quarter Speaking Engagements
  • Solutions for Your Most Challenging Issues @jeanannlarson.org
  • Jean Ann Larson's Author Page
Also, please check out my website and browse through my blog posts, and leave your comments and replies! 

Thank you,
Dr. Jean Ann Larson
Managing Partner
Jean Ann Larson & Associates

Leadership from the field 

 The Promise of a New Year
What are you looking forward to in 2016? What do you need to let go of to get past 2015?  Like life itself, each year holds joy, grief, success and disappointments. Each year we challenge ourselves to live with and engage with the full range of our experiences in order to better glean the lessons they offer and to be stronger as we move forward. What are some ways we can better engage with whatever 2016 brings?  Here are some ideas and approaches I've tried over the years. 
  1. Apply business strategic planning to your professional life. What are your mission, vision, values, goals and objectives?  Are they in alignment?  What do you need to do or stop doing to realize your potential?  Even as someone who's helped organizations get clear on their strategies, it took me a while to apply this to my own business and professional life - one of those "Doctor, heal thyself moments."  Amazing how this actually really works (LOL with tongue in cheek.)
  2. What things/behaviors/ways of thinking, bad habits, etc., do you need to let go of and leave in the past?  This is a hard one. We certainly know the things that make us crazy and keep us from being the person we're meant to be. However, like old baggage, clutter, or leftovers, we cannot seem to rid ourselves of them.  Stop the drama and do whatever you need to do to walk away from them!  Remember you have to stop doing things and even unlearn some behavior so that you can bring better ways to light and get better results.
  3. Set New Year's resolutions if they work for you and you are usually able to stick with them. I recommend only one or two since most of us resolve to change things that have been with us for years if not decades.  If you need to get better at executing on your goals or resolutions, see the book The 12 Week Year - Achieve More in the Next 12 Weeks than Most Will Achieve in 12 Months, by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lemmington. Here is what I said about it last year.  I still incorporate many of the techniques in how I do planning and how I teach strategy to organizational leaders.
  4. Identify your top 2-3 priorities for 2016. Make sure that they integrate and align the various roles in your life, e.g. professional, parent, family member, community member, etc.
  5. Select a theme or word of the year that you want to bring more of into your life.  You might select a word like joy, gratitude, patience, grow, focus, persistence, discipline, health, etc.  You get the idea.  My two words (yep those who know me know it would be hard for me to pick just one!) are simplicity and abundance. 
  6. Don't be so darned hard on yourself. Before you do any of the things above, take time to list and celebrate your accomplishments and what you learned in 2015.  Write them down and acknowledge the hard work and the milestones you had to achieve to accomplish them.  If you can only think of one or two accomplishments, it might be time to set up a gratitude journal or jar where every day you record at least one thing you're grateful for or one accomplishment.  Next year when you go back to celebrate your accomplishments, you can read your journal or pull out your daily notes that you've placed in the jar and be reminded of how much you learned and how blessed you are.  The first year I did it, it was overwhelming. The jar literally ran over!  Realizing how blessed you are helps you with the last bit of advice.
  7. Keep a positive outlook and remember that whatever happens, it happens for a reason.
Those of you who know me well know that I am a bit of a nerd at planning since my days as a Franklin Covey facilitator and I can get a bit geeky when it comes to setting goals and objectives.  However, as in all things, take what works for you from this list and run with it!  Hopefully one or two of these ideas will work for you and will help you make 2016 a great year.

We would love to hear your comments. Contact us today!
Jean Ann Larson & Associates
Email ~ Website
Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
- Emily Dickinson

What I Am Reading 

Solve the number one problem with today's young workforce-the soft skills gap (credit to Wiley On-line for the first part of this review).

The number one challenge with today's young talent is a problem hiding in plain sight: the ever-widening soft skills gap. Today's new, young workforce has so much to offer-new technical skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. Yet too many of them are held back because of their weak soft skills.

Soft skills may be harder to define and measure than hard skills, but they are just as critical. People get hired because of their hard skills but get fired because of their soft skills. Setting a good example or simply telling young workers they need to improve isn't enough, nor is scolding them or pointing out their failings in an annual review. However, you can teach the missing basics to today's young talent.

Based on more than twenty years of research, Bruce Tulgan, renowned expert on the millennial workforce, offers concrete solutions to help managers teach the missing basics of professionalism, critical thinking, and followership-complete with ninety-two step-by-step lesson plans designed to be highly flexible and easy to use. Tulgan's research and proven approach has shown that the key to teaching young people the missing soft skills lies in breaking down critical soft skills into their component parts, concentrating on one small component at a time, with the help of a teaching-style manager. Almost all of the exercises can be done in less than an hour within a team meeting or an extended one-on-one. The exercises are easily modified and customized and can be used as take-home exercises for any individual or group, to guide one-on-one discussions with direct-reports and in the classroom as written exercises or group discussions.

Managers-and their young employees-will find themselves returning to their favorite exercises over and over again. One exercise at a time, managers will build up the most important soft skills of their new, young talent. These critical soft skills can make the difference between mediocre and good, between good and great, between great and one of a kind.

I got to know Bruce Tulgan when I brought him in for an all leaders retreat during my Beaumont Health System CLO days.  He provided an interactive, engaging session based upon his research about work and productivity among the four generations and his earlier book, It's OK to be the Boss. This learning event that included almost 900 administrative, clinical and physician leaders from across the organization, was a hit and gave us tips on how to be better leaders regardless of our background, generation or the unique attributes of those we were leading.  Like his earlier books, this one does not disappoint. Instead of hand-wringing with lengthy descriptions and complaints about how all generations are hopelessly different and often get on each other's nerves, Bruce takes a very practical approach to help us broaden our perspectives, and he offers hands-on lessons and exercises that can serve both leaders and their employees. Most importantly, he helps us understand how important leading with and learning soft skills are to our organizations' ability to attract talent and remain productive and successful. Some lessons for those of us leading young talent:
  • For leaders bemoaning the younger generations and the challenges of finding the talent needed for today's organizations, helping young talent succeed and decide to stay is a critical responsibility that we must take on.  We don't have any other option if we want to stay competitive.
  • If we only want to focus on the most critical soft skills, Tulgan boils them down to these three: professionalism, critical thinking and followership.  And, as noted earlier, he has developed exercises to help teach and learn these soft skills.
  • For leaders a critical success factor for our organization's survival is our ability to develop our people. Tulgan's book gives us practical approaches and exercises that any of us can use to help employees (maybe of ALL ages!) succeed with soft skills. Tulgan says we should be what he calls "a teaching style manager."  (In my research, the very best leaders understand that one of their key roles is that of development, including coaching and teaching of their direct reports.)
  • There are many things we can learn from the young talented people who are new to the job market. With enough patience and respect, the learning can be a two-way street.
And in case you think that helping your young employees improve their soft skills is an impossible task, Tulgan cites the example of the Marine Corps who are able to turn raw recruits into professional marines after just 13 weeks of Boot Camp.  We may think we don't have the time and resources available to the Marine Corp, but if we don't invest in the success of these bright young employees, we'll spend more time and money dealing with turnover, lost productivity, customer service problems and the cost of overtime and back filling for constant vacancies.

 We would love to hear your comments. Please email us at jeanann@jalarson.net.
Book of the Year

Dr. Larson is excited to announce that her book,
Organizational and Process Reengineering Approaches to Health Care Transformation has been selected as the 2015 Healthcare and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) Book of the Year.  The Book of the Year Award honors a book that offers outstanding practical guidance and strategic insight for healthcare information and management systems professionals
Criteria for selection of this book include:
  • Relevance to a broad range of industry professionals
  • Relevance of subject and content
  • Timeliness of content
This book provides a contribution to the field with content that is new, provocative and provides alternative thoughts and approaches to healthcare transformation. 

Dr. Larson will receive her award and be recognized at the HIMSS Awards Gala on March 3, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Life Fellow of HIMSS
Dr. Larson achieves Life Fellow designation from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Larson was recently notified that she has been designated a Life Fellow in the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Per Magdalene Van Vossen, Manager, Professional Development, at a recent board meeting, the Board of Directors of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society approved Dr. Larson's advancement to Life Fellow Member status. This designation indicates the professional status and advancement within the professional society. It is an honor bestowed in recognition of long-term service and professional participation in HIMSS.

Just Announced: 2016 Speaking Engagements
Let me know if you'd like more information about these topics or events - 800-823-4330.

Putting Strategy to WorkJanuary 21, 2016Naveen Jindal School of Management - UT Dallas Space is limited so please RSVP by Friday, January 15, 2016 to Veronica Blanco at 972-883-5916 or veronica.blanco@utdallas.edu
Reducing Workplace Stress through Developing Emotional IntelligenceFebruary 17, 2016Houston, Texas at the   Annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Keynote panelist discussing the strategic imperatives for healthcare anchored by Dr. Dennis Cortese of Arizona State University
February 18, 2016Houston, Texas at the   Annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Soft Skills for Leaders of Change in Healthcare with Chris FarnhamFebruary 19, 2016Houston, Texas at the annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Change Fatigue: Winning at the Game of Change with Julie RenneckerFebruary 19, 2016Houston, Texas at the annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Change Management: Increasing Your Odds for Success with Larry DuxMarch 4, 2016Las Vegas, Nevada at the annual HIMSS conference and exhibition
Leadership from the Field: Lessons Learned from the Best and the Brightest with Derk ProngerMarch 16 and 17, 2016Chicago, Illinois at the American College of Healthcare Executives annual Congress
Navigating the Changing Dynamics of the Intergenerational Workforce: Staffing Strategies for the Highly Productive Health Care Organization with Santosh MohanApril 29, 2016Chicago, Illinois for Becker's 2016 Annual Leadership Conference

Solutions for your Most Challenging Issues
  • Does your leadership team have great unmet potential? Jean Ann Larson & associates provide executive team development, executive coaching and leadership retreats  Click here 
  • Want to deal more effectively with your major change initiatives? Let us work with your team on a change readiness assessment refresh and boot camp to improve your effectiveness at leading change  Click here
  • Need an inspiring keynote for a corporate event or professional association? Jean Ann Larson is an acclaimed keynote speaker and facilitator.  She also develops customized learning events and programs for high potential leaders and other key people in your organization. 
 We would love to hear your comments. Please email us at jeanann@jalarson.net.
Celebrate endings - for they precede new beginnings.
  - Jonathan Lockwood Huie


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Organizational and Process Reengineering: Approaches for Health Care Transformation.

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Jean Ann


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