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Posts Tagged ‘talent scorecard’

Rule 3 – NEVER cancel without rescheduling

Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 09:11 AM
posted by Scott

Enough said?  You can stop here if you get it.  If you need more convincing here are 451 more words to get some clarity.

In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey said We judge ourselves based on our intentions.  We judge others based on their actions. Never is that statement more true than in the relationship between a leader and follower.  Do any of these examples ring true?

1.  A leader cancels a one on one because of a customer issue.  Does not reschedule it because he/she just talked to the person as they walked around the office yesterday.

Leader intention:  Customer is critical and everything stops when they call.  Plus we just talked yesterday and you know I care about you.

Leader action (as interpreted by follower):  Here we go again.  Your issues always trump mine and this issue could have been handled by the field service team with just a little support from us.  This is the 6th time this has happened in the last 8.5678 months (slight exaggeration on the number – but do not be surprised at the human mind to keep a key measure like this).

2.  A leader has the one on one and interrupts the conversation three times because of calls from home.

Leader intention:  Apology issued before each call, and since it was his wife on all three occasions and it was an emergency it was okay because family comes first.  Family is a core value of our organization.  (Emergency = at the mechanic with their new Audi A8 and the repairs were not going well)

Leader action (as interpreted by follower):  Would it be okay if I did this?  His/her spouse is a great person, but can’t this wait 20 minutes?  Isn’t this my time?  I will just cut my time/agenda short and let them deal with their issues.  Afterthought – A8?  I wonder why my evaluation/increase is six months overdue?

3.  Leader leads the time with two things that went wrong last week and they want to know what happened and why.

Leader intention:  Accountability.  If we cannot have the hard conversations then I am not doing my job.

Leader action (as interpreted by follower):  What a jelly fish.  There have been four days to talk about these things since they happened, plus I owned them and fixed them.  What about the bad decision he/she made yesterday that kept me here until 8pm to fix?  Can there be accountability there?

Being a leader is tough.  It is tougher when priorities are not clear and the tyranny of the urgent rules over the one on one time.  Never break this rule – and if you do point back to the last date/time/location/reason that it happened so they know you are keeping score too. :)

Talent management is about great conversations.  Follow these three rules for one on ones and you can have some great conversations.

Links related to this post:

5 Key Outcomes – Individual Development Plan Conversation

Monday, July 23, 2012 @ 09:07 AM
posted by Scott

Talent Management is about putting the relationship first, building a process full of great conversations, and using goals to drive individual ownership

Based on surveying 150+ human resource and business leaders 20% seems to be the magic number.  Only 20% of organizations have development plans for ALL their high potentials and for their executive teams.   This is a key conversation because it allows for a great conversation around past, present, and future.  My standard measure for a great conversation around performance and development is 30 / 30 / 40.  30% focused on the past, 30% focused on where you are right now, and 40% focused on where things need to be in the future.5 Benefits from doing development plans

So why do development plans?  Below are five outcomes that happen when we invest 60 minutes 1-2x per year to update development plans:

1. Refined knowledge of talents/nontalents: Wisdom is knowledge gained from our experiences that we apply to influence the outcomes of some present or future situation.  When individuals develop wisdom about their talents/non-talents the success rate for taking on new assignments or successfully building a relationship with a new leader goes way up.  Development plans (see my template) always start with refining our picture of ourselves.

2.  Creates the building block for performance – A Strength: Gallup shared the formula Strength = Talent + Skill + Knowledge in their book First, Break All The Rules.  Research has also shown that achieving mastery in a discipline takes 10,000 hours of effort (see Malcolm Gladwell’s book – Outliers).  The core of the development plan is to script the building of skills and knowledge so that the effort people are putting into personal growth moves them towards mastery.

3.  Get Feedback From Others: Where a plan or measure exists, feedback has the best chance of happening.  Author Jodi Glickman (Great On The Job) says the goal of feedback – “. . . . is not to make you feel good.  The goal is to make you better at your job.”  We do not get better without understanding the perceptions of others.  In our own minds, we are all amazing performers. :)   A great development conversation confirms and challenges this belief.

4.  Proactively Deal With A Weakness: Weaknesses are either non-talents that are required for success in your current job or strengths that are being overused.  Whichever the case, spending time talking about weaknesses before a performance evaluation is done or before they evolve into a crisis provides an opportunity for that individual to make a conscious shift to address an issue before it becomes a big problem.

5.  Self Management of Stress: Development plans get people thinking about what their preferred future looks like, whether it is 6 months out or two years.  This includes what has to change in how they are feeling about their role – ie:  stress, balance, and focus.  It is not a leader’s job to fix how their team members are feeling, but it is their job to ask the questions, be present for the answers, and support the plans that are created.

When I first created the Talent Scorecard over two years ago this list was not in my mind.  Since learning that only a small number of teams have development plans for all their people (20%) and personally leading 30+ leaders through the creation of Individual Development Plans this list has emerged.   It is one of the new additions to my Talent Scorecard presentation that I will be sharing at the Illinois SHRM State Conference in a couple of weeks – and it has become one of my favorite conversations.

If you are interested in what your Talent Scorecard looks like – here is a link to an on-line version that will give you a printout of your results and some hints for what your priorities should be.

What Staking A Web Claim Says About You

Monday, July 16, 2012 @ 11:07 PM
posted by Scott

So what domain names do you own?

This was my response to someone who told me they were creative and skilled at seeing a problem and generating new ideas.

Answer: Silence, with kind of an uncomfortable look.

I have a hard time believing someone is a creative/problem solver/idea person if they have not staked a claim on the web.

Maybe every resume or LinkedIn profile should have a space for the domains we own.  It says something.

You can’t be a farmer without a farm – right?

Just something to think about.

3 Things To Give Development Plans Momentum

Thursday, July 5, 2012 @ 08:07 AM
posted by Scott

As I work with organizations and leaders to create development plans, the challenge every time is How do I measure this? We all know that what is measured gets done AND some outcomes are difficult to measure.

Here are three things I preach to help create momentum for the process:

  1. It does not have to be perfect: When we invoke the success or failure mantra, we too often forget about the journey.  I offer my mantra:  Start somewhere / Keep improving / Move towards a desired outcome.  My mantra would make a terrible bumper sticker, but good ideas do not have to all fit on a bumper sticker.
  2. Use a business measure: I encourage leaders to use a number being produced today, mainly because most businesses do not need more metrics and most development goals should be tied to a business outcome.  It also helps leaders see the gaps they might have in planning and reporting.  If a goal is to increase sales in a region, and that number does not exist – then start there.
  3. When in doubt – start with measuring activities: It is okay to start with a quantitative or activity measure, so long as you are certain that activity, done regularly, will move you towards your desired outcome.  Here is an example.  One area many leaders struggle with is being seen as caring and respectful by their teams.  This is impossible to measure, but one activity that has been proven to impact this is focused one on one time with each person. Set a key measure of 30 minutes of one on one time with each person per month.  If you do this religiously for 12 months – it will make an impact.  At the end of 12 months – ask the next question:  What activity or input would help me gauge the quality of this time?

I have shared several resources for people to use that will help get them started, one being a development plan and the other being a talent calendar.  Here is the page containing all of these resources.

The last thing that has helped over 150 leaders evaluate where they are today is the Talent Scorecard.  Here is a link, it is free, and it will help at least measure your key habits around talent management and set goals that will impact your people AND your business.

 

What does my leader do . . .

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 08:02 AM
posted by Scott

A leader I respect recently shared a frustration – “My people don’t think I do anything.”  In the ensuing conversation we explored the silent things they do to help their team stay focused, and different ways to help them see the investment being made in their success.  Leadership behind closed doors too often leads to communication gaps that are filled with opinions.

I am in the middle of a family project to document some letters my Grandpa received during his service in Europe during WWI as a leader of an artillery battery.  The follow letter (unedited by me) came addressed simply to the Commanding Officer, Battery A. 123rd Field Artillery.  It is dated December 16th, 1918 – Delton, Michigan.

Dear Sir,

Will you please inform about Private Henry C. Akers.  The report came in to Carthage, Ill that Henry and his brother was both killed and his brother is not, and I haven’t heard from Henry since the 28 of July 1918 and I am so worry over him.  Will you please be so kind and look it up as soon as possible and let me know.  I wrote the war department at Washington D.C. and they said no report of any kind of mishap had reach thems but theys refer me to write to you.

Will you please tell me if the Battery A 123 F.A. is going to come across to U.S.A soon or when?  Will thank you ever so much for your trouble.

Florence M – ,  Delton, Michigan

My guess is this an example of a  ’Do things as assigned’ activity from the job description of a leader.  I don’t know my Grandpa’s response, but based on my time with him I am sure he dealt with it quickly and without a lot of fanfare.  This 94 year old letter is also a testament that leadership has not changed all that much.  There are some things you just have to get involved in as a leader that the rest of the world cannot see, or are just to busy to really notice. 

Leaders – A good parallel to an open door policy is a transparency policy.  A seasoned leader once shared with me a habit where they shared their personal list of problems they were trying to solve at their monthly staff meeting.  They also asked for input/help from their team.  Suprisingly (or not) over time they often received some very creative ideas and help

 Followers – Why not ask your leader to share the top five three things that are consuming their mind/time right now? 

Time – How to have this discussion

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 @ 09:02 PM
posted by Scott

I am working with two teams right now trying to manage explosive growth (50+%) and all of the challenges that go with it.  One theme that ALWAYS comes up is time.  Here is what it sounds like:

  • I want my work week to go from 70 hours to 50 hours
  • I am working hard, and yet I am still not getting it done
  • My family has not seen me at a meal in weeks
  • My email is overflowing and people have expressed frustrations with my ability to complete things
  • There are not enough hours in the day
  • I will make time for woodworking when I retire

Time is always an issue, and in the age of “customer focused” and “collaboration” saying NO is not an option —  if it is there has to be some reasoning to it and people want to hear options.

Here is a hint, if teams are struggling with that or you have a person on your team struggling with it, dust off a copy of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, turn to the time management matrix on page 151, do this:

Covey's Time Management Matrix

  1. Introduce this as a way to sort through our to do lists
  2. Draw the matrix on the wall and give everyone a stack of post-it notes
  3. Ask them to write their top 10 things that come up during the day (you might ask them to record some of this before the meeting, especially if they are in a customer facing role)
  4. Explain the matrix to them, and have them place it in a quadrant
  5. Talk through it.  Here are some questions:  
  •  
    • What does this say about your priorities? 
    • What can move? (from my perspective as your leader)
    • What is one change I can make that would help my ‘time issue”? 
    • What is one thing I can do as your leader to help?

Leadership is about great conversations, and within those conversations helping people sort through and overcome barriers.  This is a great conversation around time, and many thanks to Covey for helping frame this discussion.  (hint:  7 Habits is a great resource for any leadership library. )

For my blog readers - this is a second post inspired by questions received from HR leaders that I talked with yesterday.  It was great to see a packed lunch meeting with 100 busy HR leaders taking time to talk and go through my Talent Scorecard.  Great questions, and I was happy to get my development plan template in the hands of so many HR leaders who can hopefully use it to impact their people.  

I will start back with more normal posts next week – 150 to 300 words.  Also, I apologize for any spelling /grammar issues.  I work hard to scrub a normal post, but at 1000 words the editing to perfection is not a battle I will fight.  Remember that trUe conversations are not always done in perfect english. :)

How do you effectively identify high potential employees based on data rather than who the manager likes?

I am guessing this comes from a negative experience trying to convince a group of leaders that they were wrong. :)   First of all, HR has to argue enough with business leaders about things like compensation that do not make this conversation an argument, but make it a collaboration.  Here are a few tips to make it happen.

  • Start the process with this question:  What do we look for in a successful leader here? (Hi Pots by definition are people destined for a significant leadership role – 2 moves up in a larger organization).  Take the list and prioritize it to a top 5 critieria.
  • Insert into the conversation the definition of learning agility from the book The Leadership Machine (by Lominger).  Use that description to help the group make sure the pieces of that definition are captured in your criteria.  (I am assuming you are using a 9 box of some sort somewhere in your process)
  • Make sure there is a section called Accomplishments as part of the Talent Profile you are creating for each candidate.
  • Have the discussion and air disagreements and capture(write it down) any concerns or questions people have about this person.
  • Action Plans / Next Steps should include having leaders questioning the inclusion find an opportunity to work more closely with this person and for the leader supporting them to find ways to showcase this person’s skills in projects, presentations, etc.

I have a post talking about how developing people is like cooking in a crockpot.  Here is the link.  Do not try and microwave this process and feel like ALL the answers have to be clear at the end of the process. 

Other than personal referrals, what have you found to be the most effective way(s) of determining those who will end up being high quality employees?

This is a big one, and there are endless vendors out there ready to sell you their silver bullet solution to this problem.  My favorite solution is outlined in TopGrading, but know that it is not an easy implementation.  It will be a live long skill(that will be marketable and useful) once you master it.  I have worked/networked with lots of startup/early growth companies and here are a few tips based on what they say made a difference and a few hints from me.

  • Divide interviewing into Skills/Experience to do the job and cultural fit for your organization.  Spend some time defining your culture (values, beliefs, mission) and be purposeful about evaluating people based on that.
  • Find ways to work with people first – via contracts, projects, including a ride along with someone as part of an interview, or maybe even giving them a real problem to solve during an interview.  Too many people think interviewing starts with the posting on monster or has to be confined to questions in a room. 
  • Do a 30 day, 90 day, and 6 month review of hires to determine “Good Choice?  Bad Choice? What did we learn?  How do we apply the learning?”  Over time this will make your process better.
  • In hiring decisions center the discussion around answering three questions:  Are the willing?  Are they able?  Are the manageable?
  • Give it time.  If you only have 30 minutes to interview a hire you will likely get a 30 minute hire.  If that is good enough for the leader then move on to a manager/leader who cares.  (sorry that was a bit blunt, but there is no other way to say it.)

If we are not able to have a formal succession planning system can you please provide some other ways and/or tools that we can informally work through this with leaders we support within our organization?  Thank you!

I left the Thank you in your question because I wondered if it would still be there after I gave my answer.  :)   My answer is No, not yet.  I say this because Succession Planning is such a big topic and really the culmination of doing the basics of Talent Management well that if it is too hard, the reasons are you are not doing the basics well and the relationships within the leadership team are probably not trusting enough to make it work anyway.  The number one barrier to this happening well at the leadership level is ego.

I do have a couple of bits of advice that hit me as I talked with the 100+ HR leaders yesterday.  Stop calling it succession planning and use the terms Most Valuable People and Most Critical Roles to identify your efforts.  I did that in my Talent Scorecard because I wanted to communicate it in more ‘non HR’ language.  Leaders might balk at the ‘valuable’ or ‘critical’ labels because they will exclude people.  This process is meant to focus scarce resources (time, money) on the most critical areas(roles) and most valuable resources(best people) in the business.  I guess the question is whether the leader proposes spending a little bit on everyone?  Another thought is “Do we want our talent management efforts to resemble socialism or capitalism?  On second thought, better hold that one back unless you want a real ideological argument.  :)   I commit to trU Tips #18 to focus on that, so sign-up for trU Tips  and I commit to addressing this for you and others that are asking the same questions. 

In the meantime, the basics I reference are already out there on my resource page.  Check it out.

If you want clarification on any of this feel free to post a question on this blog and I will gladly do my best to answer it.

trU Tips #16a – One on Ones and Leadership

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 07:12 AM
posted by Scott

Since you are my faithful readers that want to engage with me daily/weekly to talk about leadership – both of groups and self, with a splash of developing culture in organizations, I thought I would add some thoughts that did not make it past the 430 word trU Tip limit. (here is a link to trU Tip 16 if you missed it).

There are three things that are critical to making a One on One really work:

1. What is my job?  I am still surprised how hard it is for people to define this.  The list is either really long and detailed, or so generic that it would be impossible to use to recruit a new candidate or help with guidance/accountability for anyone in their job.  My goal over the next couple months is to create a tool to help people do this – - – if you have any input or want to help let me know.  I think it could be very cool, but maybe a bit scary to unleash a bunch of people with a clear sense of purpose or asking for just a little leadership from their manager.  More to come . . . .

2. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER Reschedule:  This might be impossible, but can we all agree on one thing – it is important that people Trust you as their leader, right?  In Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he makes the point that People judge themselves based on their intent, and judge others based on their actions. 

Here is a scenerio:  Leader tells everyone in a staff meeting how important they are and he/she will start doing one on ones to make sure they are getting support they need and any issues/changes that are happening get clarified quickly.  In first six meetings, three get cancelled.  Leader thinks:  We are doing one on ones just like the book!  I really care about my people.  People think:  He/She said it was important, but must not think it is that important.  Just another example of . . . . .   

3.  Make it a Followership tool:  Remember the ownership of this conversation rests with the individual, not the leader.  The leader’s job is to:  1) Show up  2) Follow-up (on commitments) 3) NOT Gobble up time (ie.  show some restraint from making their agenda the most important.

Recently I was talking to a leader that was kicking off an organization wide effort to help managers become coaches for their people.  The barrier I saw - they had no habit around one on ones and generally people did not have enough clarity in their roles to ask for help.  If they had this form/habit, their vision has a chance to be real.  Without this form/habit, it will be still be great training, but as for the ROI . . .

If you were going to add one thing to my list or one piece to my one on one form what would it be?

A tool to help leaders listen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 08:11 AM
posted by Scott

After my most recent post a colleague asked me “Do you have a tool for helping leaders to listen?”  I did not then, but 24 hours later here it is.  As with anything I load up on my website, you can have it if you use it, improve on it, and share it back.

The primary listening tool for leaders is the one on one TIME with your people.  If you have 10+ direct reports you might want to modify this for a team setting. (I would be happy to help with that)

First, remember what people need from you.  Ken Blanchard said “Leadership is an influence process.  It is about working with people to accomplish their goals and the goals of the organization.”  Listening is about making what the organization (ie. YOU) needs very clear and providing space for them to tell you what they need.  My one caveat is that this form assumes you have already had some sort of discussion around development with them. (here is a link to those templates – posted last month)

Here is a link to the form and four MUSTS for using it:

  1. The individual owns updating it and sharing a copy with the leader.
  2. The leader owns the effort to help define the core job duties, being clear about when they need a call on things, and showing up for the time. (ie.  make it a priority)
  3. Keep the time focused on celebrating greens or completes and hearing/devising plans to make reds turn yellow or green.
  4. Limit time to 15-30 minutes, and it can be done on the phone if needed – but if possible work in face time (even if it is Skype).

If you do not have a habit like this listening is extra hard, if not impossible. 

If you are wondering how the One on One fits into everything else you are asked to do as a leader around managing your people, I created a talent scorecard for leaders to get a free assessment of their habits and some feedback.  Here is a link.

Lead well!

What the mirror says . . .

Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 09:10 AM
posted by Scott

I spent the day with a leadership team recently that has a big job to do and is receiving limited resources, changing targets, and ever demanding customer expectations.  Sound familiar?  The goal is to help this team figure out how to survive/thrive over the next 18 months despite the uncertainty of the environment they operate in. What is in the mirror

We used the Birkman Method, which is the most effective tool I have found to help teams in this discussion because it measures our Usual Working Style (what people see under normal circumstances), what our Needs are (often different than how we act), and it names the stress behaviors that result if our needs are not being met.  The A-HA moment for the team came when most ended up in the stress behavior of hyper-task focus when the pressure really hit (ie.  needs not being met). 

It is not uncommon for an individual leader to look at a chart like this and make the statement – “I can handle lots of stress”.  That is true for most leaders, they push through challenges well and find ways to get to the other side.  But what about the people these same leaders lead?  The second A-HA for this team was the feedback their teams had just given them on an employee survey.  One of the issues highlighted was understanding what their roles were and communication of what is happening.  Hmmm . . . .

Leadership is hard, and probably especially hard right now. Taking the time to look in the mirror at a time like this is even harder, because it takes resources (time/money) and we are bound to see something that will ask us to change.  Yet, teams that are successfully growing a business have something to celebrate.  Part of that celebration should be the question “What can we do to make the next 18 months easier (on our teams/self) and better.

It is good to take a quick look every now and then, remembering the talents that have come together to move the organization are good, and yet there still might be an easier way to go forward.

When are you/your team planning the next look in the mirror?