Posts Tagged ‘success’

Make conscious choices

01 Nov

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      head-and-question-mark200x233It’s two years since I left the comfort of my corporate role and moved into the unknown world of ‘self-employment’.

      And looking back, I realise how lucky I was that my ex-boss was there giving me outplacement support.

      When my first consulting assignment landed almost immediately – scuppering my plans to take out a few months to figure things out first – I was able to fall, panicking, into his care.

      Ask yourself why

      Malcolm offered me lots of practical tips – how to find the accountant, what the website needed to contain and how to develop a proposal. But the best piece of advice he gave me was this: Make conscious choices. Read the rest of this entry »

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      When baking, you know that the right combination of fresh ingredients is critical to a delicious cake. The wrong ingredients can result in a soggy, inedible mess. So, what does baking have to do with high performance work teams? It’s about starting with the right ingredients. We often focus on improving the interactions between team members using interventions such as team development exercises. Focusing on getting the right people in the right combination from the start can have a much greater impact.

      Managing teams to success

      Instead of waiting and trying to repair teams through team development exercises, you can actively manage teams to be more successful from the start. For example, you can enrich the work itself by giving teams autonomy on how to go about completing a project. You can ensure the team has external support by aligning team goals with the broader organisational reward system. But did you know that you can also strategically staff teams with the ‘right’ number and mix of team members?

      Evidence-based strategic staffing

      Researchers in team science have rigorously examined what the right mix of team members is. They have found that while technical expertise is important, other team member characteristics are critical for predicting whether or not a team will be high performing. Read the rest of this entry »

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      While talking to a colleague in finance about an upcoming customer golf day his company was organising, I innocently asked him what sort of return he expected to see on the investment in the event. “Oh, you can’t measure something like this,” he said. “And you don’t really need to. It’s obviously good to have so much time with our customers in a relaxed setting.”

      I was struck with the contrasting angst expressed by us learning and development folks over whether we can measure the effect of what we do. If we decide we can measure the impact, what method is most valid? Then, if we choose a method we like, do the people we give the results to believe them or really care?

      Do metrics matter?

      Why is there such a difference in attitude towards measuring success in different sectors? Of course, metrics matter. I’ve spent so much time sweating over level 5 data to demonstrate a c.1500% ROI – it can’t have all been in vain. But the above conversation with my friend made me wonder why there’s so much hand-wringing about proving ROI in learning and development. Is it a deep-seated insecurity? Read the rest of this entry »

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