Active Strategy recognized as Ethical Company

Puls Biznesu and PwC Poland awarded us with the 2018 Ethical Company commendation.

We thank the jury for the award, and the team, clients, partners and all fans for your support!

We were one of only two small companies and the only consulting and training company awarded.

This is important award because even though we are a small team, we have the pleasure and honor to work with great people from Polish and international companies.

We work in a very poorly regulated industry. Except for the law applicable to all companies in Poland, there are no required certifications or permits (ie in banking, medicine or psychotherapy) or technology (ie in IT or manufacturing). Nothing imposes requirements on us, we do not have to apply any standards. Everyone can be a consultant or trainer.

That is why it is so important for us to build these standards by ourselves.

We support companies in improving the quality of leadership. Trust and credibility are key for our clients.

What are we formally doing in the field of ethics?

We have a written Code of Ethics and Compliance in our Culture Book - Active Strategy Consultant Handbook. Contains rules regarding tolerance, respect, conflict of interest, corruption, compliance with the law, confidentiality.
We have company values.

Trivial?

Our ethic principles are not unique, but we apply them in practice. Therefore:

  1. We always pay consultants, partners and suppliers on time (usually ahead of schedule).
  2. While selecting people for the team, we ask about the approach to work, people, business, tolerance, and ethics. Later we pay attention to whether it is like during recruitment.
  3. We do not agree with cheat, discrimination, disrespect. We have been able to terminate our cooperation with a trainer inconsistent with our ethical principles. Despite good customer opinion.
  4. If we make a mistake (happens even to the best one), we apologize and if possible compensate.
  5. Sometimes we do not accept orders. We are very cautious about some industries.
  6. We tell customers about the risks or weaknesses of the ideas that they come to us with.
  7. We honestly tell clients what competencies we have and which we do not.
  8. We do not provide to the supervisor or HR with observations about training participants if they have not been informed beforehand that we will do so.
  9. By solving dilemmas we return to the values ​​and Culture Book.
  10. We do not gossip about customers, suppliers or competitors. Of course, we discuss specific situations.
  11. We support good competition, sometimes we cooperate, we never dig a pit for others. (Here, companies from the Lower Silesian ITCorner cluster are a great example for us).
  12. We respect open, transparent communication in the team and outside.
  13. We support NGOs (free or at cost) - we make small donations, we have conducted workshops for Aiesec, 'Project Management' Students Society, 'Your New Opportunities' Association and coaching for a coordinator from Doctors of the World in Sierra Leone. (These are not employer branding activities, because we do not recruit people with such profiles).

Maybe these are trivialities, maybe obviousness, but this is how we work.

This award fills us with pride and at the same time is a kind of promise.
Ethical Company commendation is an appreciation for many difficult decisions and at the same time, it is raising the bar. We must maintain the level.

Ethic is not slogans on the company walls, but everyday smaller and bigger decisions!

The joke about Employer Branding and HR

A HR Manager from a prestigious company was hit by a bus. At the Pearly Gates she was greeted by St. Peter: "Before you settle in here, I have to tell you that we have a small problem ... no HR Manager has come this far and we do not know what to do with you."

"Can not you just let me in?"

"I would like to," said St. Peter, "But I got the instructions that you'll be the only person we'll give the right choose. You'll spend a day in hell and a day in heaven and you are to choose where you want to spend eternity.

"In point of fact, I would prefer heaven," protested the woman.

"Unfortunately, I have my instructions," answered St. Peter, leading the woman to the elevator to hell.

When HR Manager came out, she saw a beautifully green golf course. An amazing hotel with a pool on the horizon. Not a moment passed and she was surrounded by other people (mainly managers), she even knew a few. All nicely dressed, happy, greeting her. They played together a perfect golf game, which they ended with eating a delicious lobster.

She also met the Devil who seemed to be a nice guy. She spend the rest of the evening dancing and telling funny stories. Before she noticed, the trial had come to an end and everyone gave her a goodbye.

St. Peter was already waiting for her - "Now it's time for heaven"

She spent the next 24 hours jumping from cloud to cloud, playing the harp, singing - it was almost as pleasant here as in hell. At the end of the day St. Peter came with the question "So, you've spent one day in hell and one day in heaven. Now you have to choose between the two."

The woman thought for a moment and replied - "It was lovely in heaven, but actually it was better in hell. I choose hell."

According to her wish St. Peter led her to the door of hell. When they opened, she found herself in a place that resembled a smelly garbage dump, covered in ruin and dirt. She saw her friends walking thoughtlessly, dressed in rags, busy collecting rubbish. The Devil came up to her and put his arm around her.

"I do not understand," exclaimed HR Manager - "There was a golf course yesterday, we ate lobster and everyone was so happy! It's awful now and all my friends look terrible!"

The Devil looked at her, smiled: "We were recruiting you yesterday, today you are already a staff member."

(found on the Internet)

-

A joke or the reality of building an organizational culture and showing it in campaigns, company videos, open days, etc.?

What for all this taking care of modern offices, fruits, sandwiches and other artefacts? What for if there are pretended relations, bosses with make-up and conflicts swept under the rug.

Instead of changing the causes of negative employees opinions, many companies invest in creating an employer branding. Long-term results are achieved by listening to employees, respecting them or educating efficient and authentic leaders. A positive brand of the employer helps to attract employees but only if it is transparent with how is inside.

After all, an employee is a new customer!

Clutch recognizes Active Strategy for HR consulting!

Clutch again recognizes Active Strategy!

Among thousands of IT and business services companies listed on the platform, Clutch has recognized Active Strategy several times. We are very happy, even more that the ranking is based on the ability of companies to provide services and verified client's feedback.

Awards:

We are very excited to share some of the awesome Clients’s reviews that the our team has received so far! We provide leadership development, team consolidation and HR consulting services.


In a first review from the CEO of a local startup, he was impressed by how our consulting and workshops on his business “successfully affected change within the company.”

Another client, a global automotive company, also said, "As a large company, it has been quite impressive to see Active Strategy successfully deliver training and workshops that accurately represent our business across various teams."

You can visit our profiles to read full reviews and ways we have successfully helped businesses, huge and small, international and local.

Thank you to all of our awesome clients. We look forward to hearing more from you!

About us

Active Strategy is a consulting&training company, operating since 2012 with technology companies.

The team is based on experts with years of experience in working with: Akamai, Allegro, Atos, Canon, EMC, HP, Nokia Siemens Networks, Oracle, Samsung, Siemens.

We support companies and employees in increasing work satisfaction by developing the best managers, conducting inspirational training programs and improving teamwork.

In 2015-2018 more than 80% of new Clients were companies to whom we were recommended by existing Clients and returning Clients. You can see more here.

Click to have a talk with us!

What is the best leadership advice you ever received?

The road to success requires continuous learning. Sometimes we learn from our own experiences, and sometimes from others.

We meet on our path those who have made many mistakes and achieved more. It is their advice that stays with us for a long time. We asked managers from various industries about the advice that had a significant impact on how lead and manage people in business.

We encourage you to read, adjust and implement advices of our guests
Let's start!

What is the best leadership advice you ever received?

 

Treat your Team Members as partners.
The best thing I've done in business is to hire smart, driven people and treat them as partners.
They are closer to the customers, partners, potentials and problems. When I give them the vision, direction, ask a lot of questions and try to remove their obstacles from executing, then they will know what decisions to take and how to move forward. They get empowered and I'm not a bottleneck. They start to tell ME what we should do, not wait for instructions. The company starts to take better decisions, faster.

Lech Kaniuk, CEO iTaxi.pl/ / Co-founder OnlinePizza Group

Listen, be patient.
When taking my first steps as the HR Manager I often used to act too impatiently. I wanted too much, too many things at the same time, too quickly. As the time passed I came to understand that it is careful listening and patience that allow to see a different perspective and build relations based on trust. Then people also start to follow you. Not because they were encouraged or forced to do that, but out of their own will.

Katarzyna Filip – HR Manager, ASUS Polska

Success Factor 1: Stay appreciative and don’t pick on the person. Be transparent on what you want from your team member and make clear that you need his/her help for any common activity.
Success Factor 2: The best leaders are very good and patient listeners. If you talk to your people, make sure that you can completely focus on what they say and make efforts to understand, what they mean.

Armin Kreuzthaler, Director People Development & Training, Magna International

If you want people to do something in a certain way, it’s best to show them how to do it yourself.
If you expect punctuality, you must be punctual when interacting with your team. If you expect honesty, you must be honest.
There are no born leaders and we learn little about leadership at home or in school. People gain these skills from the leaders they follow. This is why it’s so important to set a good example and to show your team what you expect of them through your every action.

 Wiktor Schmidt, CEO, Netguru

Surround yourself with people better than yourself.
This is the advice many managers hear already during their studies, but you understand the depth of it in time. The truly good people urge us to continuous development and don’t let us stay in the comfort zone, even if the conditions tempt us to do so. I’ve learnt that if we don’t move forward with people they leave and then their absence is felt the most. Continuous growth as a team allows us to catch up with development in this dynamic world.

Grzegorz Rudno-Rudziński, Managing Partner, Wiceprezez Zarządu, Grupa Unity

The best leadership advice I’ve received was when I was still a teenager – “Less talking, more action”. I did not treat this as a key business characteristics at that time. However, in perspective, this is the sentence I tend to come back to most frequently. Now I am passing along this advice to my team.

Krzysztof Stypułkowski – członek zarządu/ współzałożyciel, FantasyEXPO

The most valuable advice that speaks to me is a few thousand years old: “Man learns all his life and dies stupid”. I’ve come across a lot of advice, books and training. The key is consequence and being open to development. It’s worth to read the advice of masters, e.g. Musashi Miyamoto and his “Book of Five Rings”.

Kamil Górecki – prezes zarządu/ współzałożyciel, FantasyEXPO

 

About companies

iTaxi is the first and largest tagi hailing app in Poland. There are thousands of taxi's in more then 100 cities in Poland available through the iTaxi app.

--
ASUS od ponad 25 lat tworzy inteligentne rozwiązania dla użytkowników. Portfolio firmy obejmuje m.in. smartfony ZenFone, notebooki ZenBook, ROG, urządzenia i podzespoły komputerowe a także technologie AR, VR i IoT. Dzięki swym osiągnięciom i wkładowi w rozwój rynku IT, ASUS figuruje na liście „World’s Most Admired Companies” magazynu „Fortune”.

--
Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 102 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries. Over 155,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to Customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing. Magna strives to be the employer of choice, an ethical and responsible corporate citizen and a superior long-term investment for shareholders.

--
Netguru is an international company that provides consulting services in programming, systems integration, product design and creating software solutions - from web and mobile applications to websites and ecommerce platforms. Netguru has been recognised in two rankings of fastest-growing companies in Europe: Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (two times) and, more recently, FT1000.

--
Unity has been supporting the digital transformation of customers for 20 years by implementing e-commerce IT, system integration and omnichannel projects. Since 1997 we have completed over 500 IT projects, with many clients working for over 10 years. In 2016, the turnover of the company was 25 million and employment exceeded 200 of employees.

--
FantasyEXPO is the biggest polish gaming agency actively operating in Poland, Chech Republic and Slovakia. We offer creative strategy consulting for brands, unique marketing sales campaigns, product, productions and events campaigns. We provide in-depth knowledge about gaming market in Poland as well as market research for our customers.
--

If you have found this article valuable, we will be grateful for sharing the interview with others.

Books every manager should read

There are a lot of books about leadership and team management. To help you choose the best we collect them in one place.

We think whoever manages the team should read them. Your can find here those more and less popular. Many of them should be read by everyone. We will add more items to the list.

A leaders

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Covey R. Stephen
  2. What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How successful people become even more successful – Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter
  3. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  4. The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything – Stephen M. R. Covey
  5. Fat, 40 & Fired: The Year I Lost My Job and Got a Life – Nigel Marsh
  6. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill – Matthieu Ricard
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  8. Screw It, Lets Do It! – Richard Branson

Leadeship

  1. The 8th HabitCovey R. Stephen
  2. Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
  3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You – John C. Maxwell
  4. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way: Management Insights and Leadership Secrets of the Legendary CEO – Robert Slater
  5. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Start With Why – Simon Sinek
  7. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers – Ben Horowitz

Communication and feedback

  1. Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships – Marshall B. Rosenberg, Deepak Chopra
  2. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – Kim Scott
  3. Emotional IntelligenceDaniel Goleman
  4. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work – Marilee Adams

Organizational culture and team

  1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable – Patrick M. Lencioni
  2. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World – Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell
  3. The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch 'em Kick Butt – Hal Rosenbluth, Diane McFerrin Peters
  4. Managing by Values: How to Put Your Values Into Action for Extraordinary Results – Ken Blanchard
  5. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
  6. First, Break All The Rules: What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently – Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
  7. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose – Tony Hsieh

Effetiveness and efficiency

  1. The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
  2. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done – Peter F. Drucker
  3. Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business – Patrick Lencioni
  4. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality – Scott Belsky

Systems and strategy

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't – Jim Collins
  2. Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters – Richard P. Rumelt
  3. Leading Change – John P. Kotter

 

Feel free to share your conclusions from these books in the comments.

What books would you add to the list?

What can you learn from successful leaders? We asked a few of them

Our role is often to inspire and moderate the learning process. This time it was us who asked our clients to share their experience.

They represent various industries, life and professional experience. They have participated in many training, courses and have had occasions to work with great managers. The following answers are based on what they experienced themselves in their managerial work.

We encourage you to read, adjust and implement advices of our guests
Let's start!

What leadership skill is essential for you to achieve success in leadership/management role? Why is it so important?

As we know, the most important atribute of a respected leader is her or his intelligence. I would add that the emotional stability, the sustainability and reliability of the person is essential for being accepted as a leader. All of these characteristics are necessary to be authentic and authenticity is again the basis for all trust and relationship.

Armin Kreuzthaler

 

I wouldn’t want to just go with the assumption that I’ve “achieved success”, but the most important leadership skill for me is the ability to motivate people and encourage them to work towards a common goal.
Andy Grove, a previous CEO of Intel Corporation, had an interesting theory. He said that a leader's output is the output of his or her team. A leader could do nothing at all, if doing nothing would help his or her team deliver good, timely results.
To do good work, a team needs motivation. Coming back to my previous answer, a leader must, through his or her own attitude and work, inspire the people around him or her. Not only so they will achieve results, but also because it will help them become effective leaders in the future.

Wiktor Schmidt

 

I cannot name one skill that is the most important, I rather think of it as an approach or attitude. As a manager I must constantly develop all my competencies. I have to know what I am good at and where I my weaknesses lie. I concentrate on my strengths to be the driving force and develop my weaknesses so they don’t impede the company. It’s the constant self-development and being complete in terms of one’s competencies that makes a successful manager.

Grzegorz Rudno-Rudzinski

 

The answer to this question always depends on in what time we find ourselves in the company. Due to rapid development of our market sector many competitive projects appear. In such case the key skill that allows us to continuously develop is the consequence in action. Consistent achievement of objectives lets us move forward in a smooth pace. It can also be felt that consistency in the long run can be very tiring for our competition.

Krzysztof Stypulkowski

 

We often observe a strong pressure imposed on leaders in companies. It would be ideal if they delivered results, were a bit like demanding and fair parents, well respected, great organizers, quick decision-makers, life and soul of the party, but also delegated a lot of responsibility, offered independence and much more.
Are such expectations towards leaders unrealistic today or is it leaders that don’t meet them?
What should companies and employees expect from leaders and what should leaders remember about?

Once you decide to take on a leadership job, you accept at the same time that the job is ambiguous and there is no prescription that helps you out in a difficult situation. It’s not only different roles that you need to play for the organization and your employees, it is also different personalities with different expectations amongst your team and all other stakeholders you deal with and you need to treat each person appropriately. So: if you do not like complexity, surprises and the individuality of people, do not head for a leadership job.

Armin Kreuzthaler

 

According to Gallup’s research, 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores depends on what these employees think of their leader. You could hire the best people out there, but if their leader isn’t good enough, they won’t deliver results.
Teams have the right to expect a lot from their leader - but only if the leader can expect as much from them in turn. In this way, both sides have the motivation to do their best.
A good leader accepts the expectations of his or her team and is fair with his or her own expectations. A great leader sets an example of how to do good work and leads others with his or her every action.

Wiktor Schmidt

 

These are not the expectations towards one person, but the whole team or company. As a team of about dozen managers managing the company of over 200 employees we know that we must meet different expectations. Apart from the already mentioned these include: taking care of the company’s future, new business models, guaranteeing competitiveness both in terms of our products and the company as an employer. In today’s agile organization there is no chance one person can constantly meet these expectations – only a good team can do that. With an increasing pace of market changes and the resulting changes in expectations only a good team of leaders and not a single leader can cope with them.

Grzegorz Rudno-Rudzinski

 

Being a leader in a company is not easy. Pressure is something you should get used to and learn to work along with. I agree with expectations of employees concerning what the leader should be giving them. The leader should help the employees satisfy those mentioned expectations. On the other hand, team members have temporary expectations, often discrepant with the above-mentioned ones. As a result the employees tend to assess the leader in the context of decisions taken in a given situation which they don’t fully understand. The employees should be aware of that and take responsibility for getting to know the wider context.

Krzysztof Stypulkowski

 

They are realistic if the leader is not alone. I want to build the team according to flat management rules, which requires the support offered to leaders from their superiors and from outside. First the leader who – at least in the beginning – closely cooperates with his superiors, has a chance to clearly understand the goals, scope of work and expectations to allow him to acquire and demonstrate the above-mentioned skills. All leaders also need support in developing their skills in the form of training or additional materials. The leaders are expected to provide support, knowledge, emotional strength and cool thinking. Each leader should think in terms of the solutions.

Kamil Górecki

--

Our experts

Armin Kreuzthaler, Director People Development & Training, Magna International
Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 102 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries. Over 155,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to Customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing. Magna strives to be the employer of choice, an ethical and responsible corporate citizen and a superior long-term investment for shareholders.

--
Wiktor Schmidt, CEO, Netguru
Netguru is an international company that provides consulting services in programming, systems integration, product design and creating software solutions - from web and mobile applications to websites and ecommerce platforms. Netguru has been recognised in two rankings of fastest-growing companies in Europe: Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (two times) and, more recently, FT1000.

--
Grzegorz Rudno-Rudzinski, Managing Partner, Vice President, Unity Group
Unity has been supporting the digital transformation of customers for 20 years by implementing e-commerce IT, system integration and omnichannel projects. Since 1997 we have completed over 500 IT projects, with many clients working for over 10 years. In 2016, the turnover of the company was 25 million and employment exceeded 200 of employees.

--

Kamil Górecki – CEO/ Co-founder, FantasyEXPO

Krzysztof Stypułkowski – Board Member/ Co-founder, FantasyEXPO
FantasyEXPO is the biggest polish gaming agency actively operating in Poland, Chech Republic and Slovakia. We offer creative strategy consulting for brands, unique marketing sales campaigns, product, productions and events campaigns. We provide in-depth knowledge about gaming market in Poland as well as market research for our customers.
--

If you have found this article valuable, we will be grateful for sharing the interview with others.

Marco about life on Fuerteventura

About following passion, moving to a foreign country and slow life. Probably not everyone would stand this pace of work, not everyone would hesitate to emigrate. But maybe it is a real life?

(more…)

Nobody cares about coaching [ICF blog]

For last decade there is a lot written and said about coaching. Just search the word 'coaching' in Google and you will find dozens of pages of links. You can find conferences, coaching courses, books and articles, blogs and websites. You can see details of accreditation, schools and coaching models, different definitions, techniques, and samples of coaching session.

Many people forget that except coaches (and coaching trainers) no one cares about coaching. The vast majority of individual consumers care about get what they desired or eliminate what they do not want in their lives. Jeffrey J. Fox, author of sales and marketing books, underlines that "the customer cares only about himself and his problem." He cares about the result.

Probably every coach met with utter ignorance and lack of understanding the coaching approach by the individual client. He comes to a coach just because he believes, often not too much, that he can improve his situation.

Aware client says: I want to manage people better, I want to improve my performance, I want to plan my career, I want to make the best decision, I need to regain the desire and the power to act, I need motivation and regular maintenance of concentration, I want to rebuild relationships in the family, I want to stop addiction, I want to lose weight, I want to go on a trip around the world, I want to build my own business and avoid common mistakes, etc.

Coaching is a way of working with a person or a team, as well as consulting, mentoring, training and psychotherapy. Each of these approaches has its own methods and the techniques and principles how to use them. Much of the basic concepts and techniques are very similar to most approaches, that is why the line between coaching and other ways of working is so thin.

Margaret Zukowska advises to coaches to avoid in marketing language used in coaching education. The statements follow the customer, dancing with the client, powerful questions, deep relationship, coach accreditation, are understandable only, often not entirely, by the initiated.

The situation is slightly better in business organizations. International companies know coaching, which is used in the West for decades. HR staff learn in coaching schools and managers use coaching style in management. Selecting external coaches they often pay attention to its certification.

However, as with individual clients, organizations depend on the final result. Especially when HR is evaluated for the selection of an appropriate professional.

Finally it is not important if it will be called coaching, follow-up, supporting the implementation of skills or individual training. At the end customer does not care coaching, he cares about the result.

 

Article posted by International Coach Federation blog

Active Strategy Sp. z o.o.

ul. Kolista 14/22

54-152 Wrocław

NIP: 8943065098

KRS: 0000570503

REGON: 362233488

X