Leaders whose direct reports submit regular (e.g., monthly) status reports on progress, problems, and plans should consider re-working their approach to include more frequent (e.g., bi-weekly), one-on-one, real-time (in person or via the Web) meetings to discuss submitted progress reports and to collaborate and align on how things are going, priorities, and next steps. Specifically, top leaders ask each direct report to prepare andsubmit a day or so ahead of meeting one-on-one:
An update on progress since last time including a read-out of measures previously agreed upon to track progress.
A list of the top three or so things s/he is working on, and for each:
What s/he seeks to accomplish
What has been done so far to accomplish it
What has happened as a result of what has been done so far
What has been learned from above
What s/he plans to do next.
What s/he needs from their leaders and/or from others in the organization to be successful.
Countless other day-to-day matters that will eventually impact long term organization performance and growth demand similar attention. Many leaders struggle to reach a good, a better, or even a best solution to each. Continue reading →
Many intelliven.com blog posts are based on the slides and lecture notes from a masters class in Organization Development called Organization Analysis and Strategy offered at American University and taught by Peter DiGiammarino. These posts and other material from class, including:
Slide shows, and
will be offeredlater this Spring at www.intelliven.com as an interactive digital workbook calledManage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the Worldavailable on the iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC powered by Inkling the leading platform for interactive higher education textbooks. Print and electronic copies will also be available on amazon.com.
Workbook content is searchable and findable on the web using Google. One chapter will be available at no charge and selected chapters may be purchased separately The entire workbook can also be purchased along with appendixes and answers to work problems. Future updates and enhancements will forever be automatically pushed to purchasers at no additional charge.
Whether one wants to change personal habits, implement a new information system, improve a business process, get team members to work together, increase a community’s appreciation for diversity, or even to topple a monarchy, taking seven actions driven by seven disarmingly simple truths will individually and collectively help achieve the goal.
Manage to Lead presents a framework to describe and assess any organization. It also provides a structured approach to plan and implement next steps for an organization as it strives for long-term growth and performance.
Readers are invited to select a familiar organization on which to apply the tools and templates introduced throughout the workbook. Exercises in each chapter produce essential elements for the organization’s annual strategic plan and lay the groundwork for implementing that plan.
Readers can package the key elements from Organization Exercises to form a strategic plan that communicates how the organization sees itself and where it is headed. At the end of the year leaders can compare actual results with what was described in the strategic plan to study what happened, why what happened was different than plan, what is to be learned from that, and what to do differently going forward as a result.
Repeat the process over several years and compare actual to planned results year-to-year to see the organization mature, perform, and grow to its full potential.
Well-phrased questions put to customers and prospects can dramatically increase the odds of developing opportunities to deliver value. Questions that engage and that allow the customer or prospect to reveal and expand their realities and the opportunities to provide value are ideal.
It takes conscious effort to plan for, create, and to make the most of opportunities to engage. The best practice is to think ahead, develop a collection of stock questions, and pay attention to find, cultivate, and take advantage of opportunities to engage.
Below are characteristics of well-phrased questions followed by some examples.
A well-phrased question:
Is not answerable in a single word, i.e. it is open-ended and inspires an engaging dialogue on a broad agenda.
Each year, a well-run organization’s leadership completes a planning and budgeting process. Achievement of the resulting annual business plan is dependent on each organizational unit meeting or exceeding its established goals as part of that plan. This requires that individual leaders take ownership of their part of the plan.
The objective of the Executive Incentive Compensation Program (EICP) is to allow executives who meet or exceed annual performance goals, both financial and non-financial, to participate in the organization’s overall success. The more a given individual or group is responsible for the organization’s success, the greater their share of participation in the rewards. Participation in the program is an important career milestone.
Executives with significant scope and scale of responsibility for achieving an identifiable portion of the organization’s financial plan and who are, and who are expected to continue to be, employees in good standing are eligible to participate in the program. All staff proposed for inclusion are reviewed and approved by the Core Leadership Group.
Core Leaders who all describe the problem their organization solves for whom in the same way are apt to provide more consistent guidance and direction and so increase the odds of better performance across the board.
To get clear or to test for clarity, invite each Core Leader to:
Many organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative. The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.
In order to increase the odds of engagement, happiness, and high-performance great leaders learn what people they work with like to do and what they are good at doing so they can be aligned with what they want.
Many people want to do something different than what they like and what they are good at because they believe others think that something else is more valued. Continue reading →