A great plan requires two things – a detailed understanding of the current situation and a clear sense of direction for the future. In simple terms, in order to get from A to B we need to first know what both A and B look like. For this first session, we are starting with A, before moving onto defining the direction of travel in Workshop 2 next month.
If Team Performance Transformation appeals as a process to be applied to your organisation, then you will be well aware that not everything is running as perfectly as you would like. This is completely normal, especially in an organisation with ambitious standards and aspirations for the future. This first workshop is therefore designed to help you really dig into the data to start to uncover both the areas where there is the biggest gap between actual and desired performance, and to start to uncover the patterns and root causes of these gaps. We start with the data in order to remove a lot of emotion from this evaluation, this workshop is not about assigning blame, merely about understanding so that action can be taken.
This transformation will be multi-faceted, exploring angles which can be overlooked in other transformation processes, so we will be exploring the data from the organisation’s customer reviews, financial performance, comparative performance, staff satisfaction, staff performance, KPI achievement, and business culture as a methodology for grading and benchmarking team performance against key business objectives, both internally and against the competition. The root cause analysis will look at people, processes, technology, systems, management, product, quality assurance, and culture as a methodology for creating understanding.
This is an important exercise for creating a universal understanding of the current business situation and context. Information can easily get trapped in silos, and processes which work brilliantly in one department or for one level of management cause issues in other parts of the business. By exploring the impact of processes and technology on productivity and work satisfaction across departments we can understand which business performance questions it is not possible to answer with the existing data infrastructure. And in even the best run businesses, there is always room for improvement, and external forces which can interrupt the best laid plans, forcing a course correction.
This workshop will require the involvement of the business owners and senior management team, to both be presenting data showing the current situation in key areas but to also to have data presented to them from other parts of the organisation. This will start the conversation for Workshop 2 about the direction of travel, and the possible constraints which may impact progress. This senior level analysis and interpretation will be invaluable but is not the only valid perspective. This will be partly facilitated through the completion of both a SWOT and PESTLE analysis which will allow for the contemplation of both internal and external performance factors and constraints. It is not possible to evaluate business performance without considering the external perspective and the impact of wider social and political events.
1. To understand the key performance indicators that are being measured, to establish whether they appropriately demonstrate both sub optimal and excellent team performance.
2. To be able to interrogate those indicators to generate a fully rounded evaluation of current performance.
3. To establish whether those indicators are conveying insightful information and if not, how they can be improved, or others introduced where appropriate.
4. To understand the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the each of the departments as well as the organisation, using the SWOT analysis model.
5. To gain further insight of the external factors affecting the organisation, by utilising the PESTLE model (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors) to analyse how they are impacting current business performance and direction.
6. To then apply the Human Relations Theory to their context, gaining insight into how employee attitudes, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics and leadership styles are affecting organisational effectiveness.
7. To further apply Systems Theory to their context, to understand how smaller systems interact together to create a greater, more complex system and how that further advances the organisation.
8. To understand and be able to apply the Quantitative Management approach to their context, to help identify how decision making can be more informed and efficient.
9. To be able to identify questions which cannot be answered satisfactorily from the indicators and data that are already in place.
10. To develop a plan to complete the necessary data collection to fully define current performance levels of the individual departments and the business.
11. To establish a broad agreement between the Senior Leadership and the Transformation Project Team about the current situation and the key constraints impacting progress.
1. To fully understand the range of indicators that are currently in place and the relevance of the information they produce, the attendees will be exploring their own and other’s data to identify how well they demonstrate acceptable performance and sub optimal performance.
2. For meaningful performance transformation to take place, the attendees need to further establish the practical exploration of that data, to analyse how it is collected, how objective it is and the information it is presenting, so to fully understand the current performance of the organisation.
3. There is a possibility that certain aspects of performance are not being measured adequately, so the attendees will need to examine and identify those areas where the data either does not exist or cannot answer questions satisfactorily, to then plan how that these indicators can be developed.
4. Small groups will then be formed to create SWOT analyses for the different departments, which they can share with the other groups. These will then be used to help create a SWOT analysis for the whole organisation.
5. External and environmental factors will play a huge part in the current performance of the different teams, so practical small group exercises will be set up to compile the PESTLE analysis for each of the departments.
6. A training of Human Relations Theory and how it relates to business will be delivered, to gain insight into how employee attitudes, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics and leadership styles are affecting organisational effectiveness, highlighting areas where they could be improved.
7. To further gain an understanding of how the smaller systems interact together to create a greater, more complex system, together with the relationships that can be formed from that, there will be a workshop teaching Systems Theory, practically how it relates to business practice.
8. Organisations are constantly striving to make more informed and insightful decisions, promoting efficiency in the decision-making process. Workshops teaching and demonstrating how Quantitative Management can be improved within the business practice will be held to improve this area.
9. Small group exercises will be set up to practically explore and analyse the data to understand the questions that cannot be answered from it. From these exercises, a strategy can then be built to establish how the date to answer these questions can be satisfactorily obtained.
10. SMART targets will be set, again in small group exercises for the next workshop to ensure this strategy is being followed and that this new data can be presented.
11. There will be a facilitated discussion for the while group following the presentation of existing data and completion of the SWOT and PESTLE analysis, to reach a consensus and agreement of the current situation.
1. Each attendee will be required to gather data to bring to the workshop, showing current levels of performance for the organisation’s customer reviews, financial performance, comparative performance, staff satisfaction, staff performance, KPI achievement, and business culture. They will each present this data to the other attendees.
2. The attendees will evaluate the data against people, processes, technology, systems, management, product, quality assurance, and culture to begin to understand root causes and interconnectivities.
3. Small group exercises to examine and identify in each of the areas of people, processes, technology, systems, management, product, quality assurance, and culture, questions that cannot be answered by the data provided and determine how that missing data could be mined.
4. Complete departmental SWOT analysis in small group exercises, for presenting and creating a companywide SWOT analysis.
5. Complete an organisation PESTLE analysis in practical small group exercises.
6. Attendees to undertake background reading to gain a good understanding of Human Relations Theory, so they are prepared for a discussion of how that learning can currently be applied to the organisation.
7. Attendees to undertake background reading to gain a good understanding of Systems Theory, so they are prepared for a discussion of how that learning can currently be applied to the organisation.
8. Attendees to undertake background reading to gain a good understanding of Quantitative Management, so they are prepared for a discussion of how that learning can currently be applied to the organisation.
9. Small group exercise to analyse the data against the key criteria to identify which questions cannot be answered by the currently available data. Identify if it is possible to collect the required data with existing systems.
10. Small group exercises to develop a plan to collect the identifies required data by the next workshop, setting SMART targets to ensure goal is achieved.
11. A recording of agreed current situation by all parties and identify the areas needs further exploration.
The defining and launching the Planning Phase for the Team Performance Transformation Program – Workshop 1 is an essential process because it sets up the prerequisites that will drive the entire process. This phase consists of four steps, which need to be considered before this workshop take place. These are:
1. Understanding the “why”
2. Senior Management Commitment
3. Agreed Budget Commitment
4. The Identification of the Core Project Team
Understanding the “Why”
This first workshop is focused on discovering how the business is performing against both internal and external benchmarks and expectations. However, before this, the leadership team must start from a position of understanding and agreeing why radical change is required, and why business performance needs supercharging at this point. This leads to two key questions:
What is driving the thinking that we need the Team Performance Transformation Program?
Before we begin such an important and potentially transformative project as this, we need to have a good answer to the question of – Why? In such a busy world, and with so many other things to do the people involved with the organisation need to understand why this is the right plan and why they should make the Team Performance Transformation a major priority, devoting the time, focus, and commitment necessary to succeed.
What is driving the desire to want to make that change now?
Every stakeholder is challenged with too many tasks for the time they have available. The only way to manage these is to prioritise those tasks. For that priority to be set, the understanding of why the Team Performance Transformation program should be given a priority must be absolutely clear in the mind of all the leadership team.
Efficient teams are essential to the success of any business and this program is designed to increase the performance of those teams.
Within this, we must also understand the Key Business Objectives. Why does the organisation exist? What is it trying to achieve? What are the key values that underpin how it goes about doing business? These are often codified in Mission or Vision Statements, but there is often also a further unwritten set of objectives and values which needs to be unpicked and agreed upon. This helps us to understand what is truly important to the organisation as this will inform not just the focus of the transformation but also how the transformation process will be best undertaken in order to meet cultural and value needs. There is always more than one way to achieve lasting and effective change.
Sadly, there are many examples of once successful businesses that failed to transform their operations quickly enough to meet the needs of a changing world. Competitiveness is not a given, and those that fail to transform may lose their market share or even fail to exist. The need to change is governed by both internal and external factors including rapidly advancing technological opportunities which can be used to both improve how the business runs but also to create customer delight.
Well run businesses with a quality reputation have been shown to have higher trust, respect and profitability than those who don’t. They also have the ability to attract talent and investment not available to others. In a world where over 80% of mergers and acquisitions fail to generate sufficient return on investment high quality organic growth generated from internal transformation is the best value for money.
Even the best run companies have inefficiencies, and areas which don’t perform as well as they could do. They have crevices or departments which have not been evaluated for long periods of time, and aged decisions which are still unquestionably being followed. These add overhead, stress and complexity. All businesses benefit from periodic wide scale evaluation and investigations to inform operational changes. These can help to reduce operational or technology maintenance costs, explore the reasons for sub-optimal business growth or declining revenues, meet ever increasing customer expectations, and adapt to changing political climates.
Transformational success depends on certain things, the right timing, and integrated approach, the bandwidth to create effective change, and the right capabilities within the team for success.
Right Timing: Many organizations focus on ever more iterative change as part of a culture of continuous improvement, until it becomes ever clearer than this approach is no longer working. This is normally seen via weak revenue, customer dissatisfaction or increased competition. Significant change then becomes a priority, and the need for rapid results creates increased stress. Identifying the correct course of action takes time, so better results come from proactively engaging and planning for it before the damage has occurred.
Integrated Approach: By focusing on the 8 elements for effective transformation – people, processes, technology, systems, management, product, quality assurance and culture you have everything in place to create effective change to organizational design. Looking at all parts in the round as a whole ecosystem can be helpful to make big strides and avoid unnecessary work or micromanagement. This helps move away from solutions which feel more like moving the deckchairs on the Titanic to ones which change the course of the organisation and create lasting and effective change.
Bandwidth: The organisation is not going to stop operations during this transformation process. But overwhelmed and rushed executives do not make the best decisions, so properly staffing and resourcing the project team is a must.
The right capabilities: The people who are chosen to lead the transformation team must have the skills and capabilities to do the job well. This may require outsourcing or hiring in the right talent to make things happen in the right way to create success.
While this first session is all about identifying how the business is currently performing, there are several pre-conditions which need to be in place for the Team Performance Transformation process to work.
· Senior Management / Business Owner commitment
There must be a complete commitment from the senior management or the team for any form of transformation to take place. A change programme without the full commitment of time, effort and resources from the organisation’s leaders and owners, is likely to jeopardise robust, meaningful and positive change to be adopted by those further down in the organisation. This is a two-year commitment to invest in a process designed to supercharge business performance by equipping key members of the business with the necessary skills and knowledge to want to work differently. For this change to be disseminated through the business as a whole, so that staff are willing to operate in a significantly different manner, the senior management team must be the proponents of this change. To do this will require time, money, enthusiasm and effort from those at the top of the company and cannot be undertaken lightly.
• Pre agreed budget commitment
At this point, the business leaders will have an idea why they felt committing to the Team Performance Transformation process was a good plan. This may be a data led decision, a need prompted by external forces requiring a significant altering of how the organisation operates, or more intuitively, the understanding that the previous iterative changes have reached the end of the road and a more substantial re-imagining is required to unleash the next level of performance. In all cases, we are led to the same conclusions, that investment in not just skills and knowledge is going to be needed to create the level of desired change. At this point it is not possible to put together a detailed budget, but business owners and senior leadership teams do need to pre-agree an amount they are willing to invest in upgrading equipment and systems. This has to be seen as a necessary investment to further the success of the organisation.
· Identify a core project team and create the time and space for them to commit to implementing this change and the necessary decision-making authority
Such a substantial transformation opportunity does not just need investment in equipment and software, but also in making sure the core transformation team have the time and support needed to make a success of this opportunity. To create more efficiency in the project as it unfolds, key people within the project team must be given authority to make decisions. The transformation process will cannot afford to be hampered by a long process of ratification for decisions that are intrinsic to the success of the project. At this stage, leaders will have an idea of the key staff they would like to be involved. Therefore, the authority for clearing their diaries, altering job descriptions, and changing reporting and supervisory responsibilities are a key pre-requisite. This is an area where so many projects falter and can ultimately fail, all because this authority has not been given. If this doesn’t happen, the project staff not only struggle to find the time to commit but also find that other daily business tasks are given a higher priority.
There should be an internal Steering Committee that will be the key champions and cheerleaders for the transformation programme within the organisation. The lead of this Steering Committee will be the Central Point of Contact for the Client Company and will have full Decision-Making Authority. This lead will represent key stakeholders and program participants. Each Steering Committee should include an Executive Sponsor, who will be the link between Senior Management and key points of the transformation, mainly the Development, Delivery/Implementation, Management, and Review of the Program.
A key starting point will be to select other members of the Steering Committee to represent various stakeholders who would participate in the transformation or be key beneficiaries. Employee engagement is a critical factor for success and so staff should not just be informed of the transformation that is about to unfold, but this group should also be represented on the Steering Committee. Motivation research shows that people are most committed to those changes they have helped to influence.
In union-organized companies, finding the right union rep to be part of this team will have a significant impact on the potential success of the programme. This Steering Committee of insiders will work with us to Design, Develop, Delivery, Manage, and Review the Program. This team shares responsibility to bring the Team Performance Transformation process into their organization and help us adjust the strategies, content, processes, and delivery methodology to achieve success and exceed your expectations. This is an interactive process. Finally, the Steering Committee should contain at least one senior executive sponsor to make sure this transformation programme meets Leadership objectives and addresses their concerns.
Pro-activity is the key for the Steering Team when managing these key stakeholder and influencer relationships. This will lead to better results than reacting someone gets upset because they weren’t advised or consulted when a major decision was made. These relationships have to have a joint vision of the outcome for the transformation, be built on trust, have agreed performance expectations, and determine what information will be shared, created, and exchanged.
The Steering Committee also needs to start selecting either an internal delivery facilitator, or an Appleton Greene Consultant/Facilitator to work closely with the Steering Team and the Learning Provider.
· Understand the “why”.
This first workshop is all about finding out how the business is performing against both internal and external benchmarks and expectations. But we need to start from a position of understanding and agreeing why radical change is required, and why business performance needs supercharging at this point. This leads to two key questions:
What is driving the thinking that we need to change?
What is driving the desire to want to change now?
There is a final specific task to be completed prior to the first workshop. Each participant will need to complete a state-of-the-art talent diagnostic. There are several excellent reasons for this:
Firstly, these assessments help us get to know the key participants and their needs in a quick, painless manner leading to improved learning and performance outcomes. Then, we can use the results to support the implementation of the Team Performance Transformation process as much research has shown individual talent is not enough to succeed in today’s work environment. How the team as a whole performs is equally critical. Psychometrics reveal team dynamics in an easy to interpret visual format way, enabling a deep understanding of how teams interaction as well as how individual behaviours influence the achievement of team objectives.
We use psychometrics and talent diagnostics from Harrison Assessments and these help both Senior Leadership Teams and individual team members to gain a clear understanding of their own behaviours helping them to become more effective team members and leaders. This also includes understanding stress behaviours and how those impact both individual and team performance as well as helping people understand what can trigger these behaviours. The reports generate understanding of how to improve decision making within teams and whole organisations, improve the makeup of teams, inform succession planning, and assess the potential for cooperation or conflict.
Overall, we find that with these insights, managers can maximize team strengths while developing areas of deficiency in order to maximise performance, and in the context of a transformation project to inform decision making.
NEED BETTER QUALITY IMAGE FOR WORKSHOP 1 – SITUATION REVIEW IMAGE
Design & Development Phase
The Team Performance Transformation process is designed to be unlike any other management or leadership programme out there. By expanding traditional management thinking and combining it to incorporate key themes from business analysis we are equipping general managers who will use IT every day but have little experience in specifying on a large scale the best systems and processes needed for running the business. This course will push teams to understand the real root causes of business underperformance and to implement changes that address these rather than to paper over the symptoms.
This is a very practical undertaking. While there will be lots of teaching of the relevant knowledge gleaned from a variety of academic specialities; management, business analysis, lifelong learning, emotional intelligence, and change management, this is designed to be applied to the workplace context and used to inform new thinking and actions. New skills will be taught and developed, again with the specific intention of improving practice and informing the direction of this performance transformation.
Working with our partners
This training programme is not designed to deliver qualifications, but to push individuals to deliver the very best positive change they can for the business. Success lies in the acquisition of skills and knowledge, but it is much more about how those skill and knowledge are applied to the goal of improving business performance. With that in mind, it is important to recognise that there is always more than one way to get from A to B. Some techniques may not work in some organisations, and it may not be possible in some cases to implement every great idea. Flexibility is key, as is our ability to deliver robust feedback to help broker and support project teams to achieve success.
This first workshop is geared to fully understanding the current levels of business performance. This will require a large quantity of data collection and analysis by the project team. Where this data is not easily accessible or available, innovations will be required in order to achieve success. The project team will need to contemplate the questions they are trying to answer from this data. Just arriving at the first workshop with a compilation of numbers and data is not enough to provide a framework for development.
The project team will have needed to research a Data Dictionary for their business environment. The Data Dictionary will describe and record the existing Data Landscape for their business domain. This is important, to define the boundaries that they have to work within and the raw data materials that they are starting out from. They will be expected to have interrogated the information they have collected, so they have a good understanding of its robustness.
Progressing further they will use formal Data Model modelling techniques to describe the existing information model for their business domain. The model will be developed to include details of key flows around the business. The aim of this process is to develop a formalised understanding of the structure, that will present current opportunities for improvement. The aim is to develop complete and actual (As Is) representation of the information domain and provide opportunities to identify potential improvements in the desired (To Be) model to be developed later.
To develop these models the project team will need to deploy sophisticated research techniques, delving into all aspects of their business domain. They will become familiar with elements of the business that perhaps, they previously would not go anywhere near. They will need to observe business processes and the data that originates from and drives those processes. They will need to talk in depth to business stakeholders and their staff.
Once the process of data analysis is complete, they will need to produce a system architectural plan for the business domain. Documenting where information artifacts are used and for what purpose, and which business processes they are stored or transformed in.
Specific data will need to be collected to cover the 8 key elements of Team Performance, being people, process, technology, systems, management, product, quality assurance and culture. These are combined with the specific areas of focus around customer, reviews, financial performance, comparative performance, staff satisfaction, staff performance, KPI performance and business culture.
This is not just the design of business processes or requesting particular changes to IT systems. This is about designing the whole way the business goes about doing business. It involves how people will be recruited, trained, performance managed, and directed; the creation of a positive business culture which embodies how people want to work as well as what they are working for; and combining this with the conditions needed for business success.
Fundamentally a business exists to make profit, but how it goes about making profit matters to staff, customers, and wider stakeholders. When we re-design these key business systems it will embody all these factors as well as asking the most important question of all, “what is driving you nuts?” Then making sure the designs solve real life practical problems experienced by staff so they want to be involved in implementing the change successfully because it will make their lives better, remove tedious work arounds and generally free them up to do something more interesting instead – increasing their contribution and productivity.
This workshop will comprise of three different parts. These being a ‘get to know you’ session, then expectation setting, and more importantly an opportunity to really interrogate the data which has been collected, evaluating how well it is able to answer the key business questions.
Participants will be conducting both a SWOT and PESTLE analysis to get everyone on the same page, and as a way for us to understand the key issues and context for the organisation. Project team members are likely to have been recruited from different parts of the organisation so may see the position of strengths and weaknesses differently. Both the SWOT and PESTLE will be data informed because decisions will need to be reached by more than just opinion, and benchmarking will be key to this. The candidates will be exploring what is a real strength as opposed to what is a “given” – a level of performance which is neither strength nor weakness but just expected.
An example of this can be seen when a bank claims it delivers great customer service. Is this really a strength or just what all customers would expect? How can the bank demonstrate that its customer service is better than the competition to justify the claim? Understanding the real strengths is important at this stage, to encourage criticality of thought, and the questioning of existing beliefs. One of the core tenets of the Team Performance Transformation process is for accurate problem diagnosis, and this is one of the key techniques for developing this skill.
Agreeing on the opportunities and threats facing the business can help both the project team and senior management to see the bigger picture, rather the just the day to day performance. While the daily performance is incredibly important it needs to be seen in the context of overall market opportunities and how the competition is progressing and possibly innovating. This bigger picture thinking is backed up with the PESTLE analysis where participants will be exploring the impact of the current political situation, the state of the economy, social issues, technological opportunities, environmental considerations, and the legal environment, to understand whether the external environment is helping or hindering the organisation to achieve its goals.
This external environment is never static, and businesses do not operate in a vacuum. Within this exercise, participants will be encouraged to reflect on both staff and customers opinions particularly within the social and environmental sections where external expectations may present excellent business opportunities or serious constraints on action.
This workshop then will set the scene for our future training and working relationship, where we can collectively sow the seeds to for the desired growth for in the future, probing to create understanding and improve aspirations, and working to improve both knowledge and skills. The workshops will be highly interactive learning spaces, building on existing knowledge and skills to raise performance and creating the right environment for participants to leave, equipped with new knowledge and tools that can be enhance their development and can be implemented to move the project forward to the next stage in good time for the next session.
· Knowledge and skills acquisition
Testing of understanding will be built into key learning activities within the workshop sessions to not only ensure the retention of the learning but also how that new knowledge can be applied and refined over time.
· Completion of the necessary work during and between sessions
A true picture of learner understanding comes from their ability to assimilate the learning and apply key concepts and skills to their own practice in a quality manner. Generally, we see that learners who struggle to complete work have either failed to comprehend key areas of knowledge, need further practice to make consolidate new skills before they can apply them to their practice, or either mindset or life has gotten in the way. We need to understand the reasons why a learner has not progressed in the way we expected so that we can offer enhanced support. This is one of the key drivers behind the use of the Harrison Assessment both prior to and during the first workshop. These state of the art diagnostics give us a real insight into participants strengths and personalities – helping to inform how best to support their learning.
· Quality Assurance
Quality assurance includes two principles: “fit for purpose” (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose); and “right first time” (mistakes should be eliminated).
The Leadership Team need to create their definition of excellence and then establish the requirements that each area of the business needs to adopt and understand what the drivers are for excellent quality.
The quality management principles are:
· Customer Focus
How are we best serving our customers?
Is the leadership team providing the guidance the organisation needs to grow successfully?
· Engagement of People
Are the Leadership Team engaging with the workforce and customers in a way that generates enthusiasm?
· Process Approach
How can processes be adopted to enhance efficiency and simplicity?
· Continuous Improvement
What steps can be taken to ensure the ethos of continuous improvement is adopted?
· Evidence Based decision Making
What evidence is need for more informed decision making and where can that evidence be obtained?
· Relationship Management
What education and practices need to be assimilated to ensure both internal and external relationships, and at all levels, are managed successfully?
For the Team Performance Transformation process to create robust and significant change in the organisation, the eight key elements need to be addressed in a systematic and objective way. These key elements are:
· Quality Assessment
Therefore, the collection of high quality data and information is crucial, as has been outlined in the planning phase. The organisation will not only need to interrogate the obvious sources but also those that are somewhat hidden, such as spreadsheets and reports that may localised and not generally shared.
The stakeholders and the AG learning provider need to explore innovative methods to expand traditional management thinking, the way IT is used to inform decisions, the adaptation of systems to be informative and the modification of process to be more efficient.
The transformation process will require the leadership team to delve deeply into the real root causes of business underperformance and not rest at the surface levels of apparent explanations. A sticking plaster will not heal a fractured leg. Therefore, this is a very practical undertaking.
The teaching of the relevant knowledge, accumulated from academic specialities; management, business analysis, lifelong learning, emotional intelligence, and change management, is designed to be implemented in the workplace and used to inform new thinking and actions. These new skills are intended to be used for the specific intention of improving practice and informing the direction of this performance transformation.
It is only through this thorough implementation that the true return on investment will be realised.
The Team Performance Transformation process is designed to challenge and expand traditional management thinking. By introducing key themes from business analysis we are equipping general managers with a deeper understanding of the benefits of large scale IT systems and how to research and identify the best systems and processes that can be utilised for running the business. This training will push teams to expand their understand the real root causes of business underperformance and how address those causes, as opposed to only looking at the surface affects.
This very practical training will involve expansive teaching of the relevant knowledge gleaned from a variety of academic specialities; management, business analysis, lifelong learning, emotional intelligence, and change management, designed to not only be applied to the workplace but also with the specific intention of measuring how their implementation is improving practice. These measurements will be used to inform the stakeholders the direction and success of this performance transformation.
Although this is not designed to deliver qualifications, as the individuals grow to deliver the very best positive change they can for the business, the improved business performance will demonstrate the success of those individuals as they implement the skills and knowledge delivered in the workshops.
It is also important to recognise that there is always more than one way to get to reach certain improvement goals. Some techniques may not work in some organisations, and it may not be possible in some cases to implement every great idea. Flexibility is key, as is our ability to deliver robust feedback to help broker and support project teams to achieve success.
In this first workshop, we need to gain a solid understanding of the current levels of business performance. Therefore, this will require a large quantity of data collection and analysis by the project team. However, in some cases, this data may not be easily accessible or available and this will require innovative thinking in order to achieve success. The project team will need to contemplate the questions they are trying to answer and ensure that the data they bring to the first workshop is useful to provide a framework for development.
The project team will need to understand the Data Dictionary required for their business environment. This will describe and record the existing Data Landscape for their business domain. This is important to set the boundaries that they are to work within and where the data they have collected fits in this dictionary. This collected information will be used in conjunction with formal Data Model modelling techniques to describe the existing information model for their business domain. The model will be developed to include details of key flows around the business. The aim of this process is to develop a formalised understanding of the structure and present opportunities for improvement.
The aim is to develop the representation of the information domain as it currently stands and provide opportunities to identify potential improvements in the to be model to be developed later.
To develop these models the project team will need to deploy sophisticated research techniques to extract all the information required by the models. They will become familiar with aspects of the business that they were not aware of, and they will need to observe business operations and the data that originates from and drives those processes. They will need to carry out in depth discussions with their business stakeholders and their staff.
Once the process of data analysis is complete, a system architectural plan for the business domain can be created, with precise documenting about where information elements are used and which business processes they are stored or transformed in.
This workshop will be part get to know you session, expectation setting, and more importantly an opportunity to really interrogate the data which has been collected, evaluating how well it is able to answer the key business questions. The project team will be understanding and in some cases, designing the whole way the business operates, including:
· Performance Management
· Business Leadership and direction, and
· Business Culture
This will help inform the Leadership Team the conditions needed for business success, how it drives making a profit whilst also taking great care of their staff, customers and wider stakeholders. The new re-designed key business systems will embody all these factors, ensuring that those systems solve the practical challenges experienced by staff so they are motivated to be involved in implementing the change successfully, as it will lives better and remove tedious work arounds and free them up to increase their contribution and productivity.
Participants will be conducting both SWOT and PESTLE analysis as a way to get everyone on the same page, and as a way for us to understand the key issues and context for the organisation. Project team members are likely to have been recruited from different parts of the organisation so may see the position of strengths and weaknesses differently. Both the SWOT and PESTLE will be data informed, decisions will need to be informed by more than just opinion, and benchmarking will be key to this. We will be exploring what is a real strength as opposed to what is a “given” – a level of performance which is neither strength nor weakness but just expected. An example of this can be seen when a bank claims it delivers great customer service – is this really a strength or just what all customers would expect? How can the bank demonstrate that its customer service is better than the competition to justify the claim? This is important at this stage as a way to encourage criticality of thought, and pushing back. One of the core tents of the Team Performance Transformation process is for accurate problem diagnosis, and this is one of the key techniques for developing this skill.
Agreeing on the opportunities and threats facing the business can help both the project team and senior management to see the bigger picture from day to day performance. While the day to day is incredibly important it needs to be seen in the context of overall market opportunities and what the competition is up to. This bigger picture thinking is backed up with the PESTLE analysis where participants will be exploring the impact of the current political situation, the state of the economy, social issues, technological opportunities, environmental considerations, and the legal environment to see how what the organisation is trying to achieve is wither being helped or hindered by the external environment. The external environment is never static, and businesses do not operate in a vacuum. Within this exercise, participants will be encouraged to reflect on both staff and customers opinions particularly within the social and environmental sections where external expectations may present excellent business opportunities or serious constraints on action.
This workshop then will set the scene for our future training and working relationship – sowing seeds to gently grow for future use, probing to create understanding and improve aspirations, and working to improve both knowledge and skills. The workshops will be highly interactive learning spaces, building on existing knowledge and skills to improve performance and creating the right environment for participants to leave and both apply their learning and use it to move the project on to the next stage in good time for the next session.
NEED BETTER QUALITY IMAGE FOR ‘DURING WORKSHOP’ IMAGE (IMAGE NUMBER 3)
While the delivery of monthly workshops is central to the success of this transformation, the leadership team must immerse themselves in the process. The different and innovative thinking that is the result of the new learning must be implemented outside of the workshops. Collective commitment to implementation, engagement, discussion, planning, feedback, learning, metrics and diagnostics will be key for a complete transformation to take place within the organisation and its teams.
We have learned from experience that this embracing of the process helps organisations to be far more successful in the short run, create faster results, and ultimately establish a much more sustainable long-term impact.
Working with Motivated Organisations
As a Learning Provider, we look forward to working with organisations who actively engage in the process of bringing transformation to their teams and ultimately, to the way they do business.
We have years of experience in designing and developing a very wide variety of programs, that help organisations increase their efficiency and productivity, through a more proficient use of systems, processes and technology, that support an improved environment for management and their teams to work in. This helps to enhance a culture where people take pride in the quality of the products and services they deliver.
Our roots in Team Performance Transformation are very different from many other training organisations in this sphere. We have been immersed in the practical experience of executive management, transforming our own teams, strategic planning, innovating systems and processes, adapting the utilisation of IT to help deliver complex projects efficiently and working within this process to achieve business excellence.
This experience, together with our own constant learning, has made us thought leaders in business development and team transformation. We understand the importance of data in an organisation and how the information it provides can be interrogated to provide deep insights into how team performance can be regenerated from mediocrity to excellence. The training we provide is practical, pragmatic but also thought provoking and creative. We also stress the importance of implementation, action, review and adaptation, giving a focus on continual improvement to all aspects of the organisation.
The Difference between Leading and Managing
There is an intrinsic difference between Leadership and Management, especially when it comes to team performance. Management focuses on the ability to create an environment where team players work together to accomplish a series of tasks or a set of common goals. The team manager’s role is to ensure that the varying jobs or projects are successfully completed.
Leadership encompasses this but takes that further to provide inspiration for the team. The leader will ensure that each member of the team is in the right role that is best suited for their particular skills and empowering them to not only further develop those skills but also to grow in character and maturity.
As the manager reaches more senior levels, most are not clear in their thinking about leadership, nor can they distinguish between the different leadership styles and when each is appropriate. In simple terms, managers are tasked to maintain stability, oversee efficiency, while minimising risk to the team and the organisation.
The leader’s quest must be for continuous improvement, adaptation to change, innovation, integration across organisational boundaries, and generating competitive advantage, while building high performance teams that take advantage of the collective skills and insights of everyone in the organisation.
The Team Performance Transformation process focuses on creating leadership thinking that will then lead to enhanced team performance.
Clarity of Vision
At the beginning of the process, each stakeholder will have their own vision of the organisation after the delivery of the whole process. They must all come to the workshop with an idea of that vison, so that collectively, a vison for the organisation can be clarified, agreed and then fixed. This fixed vison will be intrinsic to the mission, purpose and strategy of the organisation. Having these in yield the understanding of the leadership team of the direction the organisation will follow.
What Is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a crucial process to measure an organisation’s success against that of other similar companies to discover if there is a where that company is placed in the market. This process can be carried out both internally, between departments and externally between different companies.
The process not only highlights gaps in its performance but also leads to critical thinking in the Leadership Team to explore ways that they can rise above their competition.
Studying other companies can highlight what is needed to enhance efficiency and productivity, to become a bigger player in your industry. External competitive analysis can identify areas that can be improved in the business against its competitors, giving valuable insights into particular operations that can be improved, through valuable insights and innovative thinking, to help create a plan to dominate your market.
Benchmarking can also be carried out internally, examining the performance, efficiency and motivation of different departments and functions against each other, to establish a regime of best practice to be continuously implemented.
In both cases, the benchmarking helps create a set of goals and performance criteria to measure both performance and success. This helps to create a culture of continuous improvement, where everyone is empowered to suggest improvements to the business operations, processes and environment that leads to the continuing success of the organisation. New goals and competitive targets can be continually achieved and reset, as long as they remain achievable, ownership of them is encouraged and they do not become too competitive and demotivational.
Encouraging ownership will lead to employees taking pride in their work and can see, due to the setting of metrics and the measurement of their attainment, the contribution they are contributing to the success of the company.
As with any process, the planning stage is the most important. This includes highlighting what the areas for improvement, the competitors you will use for reference, and envisaging a success outcome. The results of planning will help the project team focus on the information you need to collect and what success will look like.
2. Collection of Information
After planning, information needs to be gathered on the processes and how competitors go about this. If improvements to customer service satisfaction is the goal, then an understanding of the processes involved in the relevant department(s) needs to be gained, how calls and communications are dealt with, and how that differs from your competition. It is important to gather as much information as possible.
3. Analysis of Data
Once that information has been gathered, then it can be analysed to begin to understand the shortcomings you may have. It is important to remember at this point in the process that no business is perfect and you must have an open mind to be able to analyse that information objectively. Once findings are uncovered, then discussions on the next steps to achieve better performance in this area can take place.
4. Implementation Planning
This is planning how this how these findings are going to be delivered to the relevant workforce and understanding how they will be received. Changes may involve new processes and procedures and may also require some upheaval. It is vital for the success of these new procedures that these changes are fully adopted by the staff who will be responsible for the activity.
This is stage where the staff will start working with the new processes and highlighting areas that are good and those which are challenging. The workforce will need full support from the leadership team and that data must be gathered and not lost.
This monitoring of results and discussion of the concerns from the staff are essential to determine how successful the plan has been. The implementation phase will have highlighted metrics and goals for success within a time frame so monitoring these is the only way to tell how well these changes have worked. Monitoring can be over a short or long period of time depending on the desired outcomes.
For the first workshop we are looking at the following aspects of the business and collecting information about how each aspect of the business functions:
The data needs to cover the organisation as a whole, as well as looking at individual department performance. This is a lot of data to be collected and analysed, and the project team will need to start by devising an effective plan to identify what naturally occurring data exists.
We would recommend starting with a mind map of the different departments of the business and exploring which of the seven areas of performance are relevant to that department, and what naturally occurring data there is available. Once the organisation mind map is completed, it can be annotated to show which of the 8 elements have been covered via naturally occurring data.
The next stage is to identify which areas of performance, elements, and organisational departments so not have a full set of naturally occurring data. The project team need to develop a plan for the speedy capture of the necessary data so that it is all available for the first workshop.
We do not have the expectation that every department will have high quality naturally occurring data for every element and area of performance, and project teams will struggle with some areas more than others. Part of the task will be in identifying what data can be used as a proxy, and some of the subjects are more open to interpretation than others. It is up to the project team to discuss and agree what that interpretation should be.
As part of the management of the pre-workshop preparation stage, the project team will need to identify who will be capturing what data, by when, and how it will be interpreted and presented. To that end, project teams will need to consider how they will be communicating with the wider staff team about this task in order to generate co-operation and assistance. Project teams also need to set up their wider staff feedback and communications strategy for the transformation project as a while. Within this the team needs to consider the more formal transformation feedback mechanism which will help them to refine the transformation plan and improve implementation. One technique is to study feedback loops so as to improve communication within an organization. This can be done by:
Mapping out the existing communication channels within an organization, understanding why they are used and what they are used for, as well as exploring their frequency of use. This can help teams to understand how and where to improve information flow both internally and externally.
Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of current feedback loops. By understanding which loops provide management with the most useful information and which can be flawed it helps inform future communications strategies. Teams need to consider both formal and informal feedback loops in their work, as many direct methods of communication with staff can lead to being told what people think the boss wants to know rather than being a true reflection.
Considering which feedback loops to use for which tasks. Not all feedback loops are born equal, and it is important to use the right tool for the job. This also feeds into eh question of formal versus informal feedback when trying to find out what people really think and considering the contribution newer tools such as social media can bring.
Exploring expectations and how they can be exceeded to create excellent and delight. If you do not know what someone’s expectations are – whether customer, stakeholder, or member of staff it is very difficult to either be able to exceed them or to accurately know when you have or have not done so. By analysing the types of inquiries that clients have and when they occur in the customer journey, it is possible to create communication systems which can be pro-actively deployed to deliver excellent feelings of customer service around these issues.
Product and service development. Customer feedback is especially important when developing new products and services, or in identifying how best to further enhance existing ones. Nothing beats actually asking people what they would like. Research shows that 40% of businesses fail due to insufficient market for their product or service, and good customer feedback at the development stage can save a lot of money later through improved design.
Having an effective communications strategy. This requires an understanding of what is and is not working at present. By considering concepts such as the Customer Journey, organisations can significantly improve the effectiveness of their customer communications, improve automation, and reduce the stress on customer service staff.
Time will need to be found before the workshop for the project team and the Steering Committee, aided by an external consultant to examine the data which has been collected at this point for sense checking, and to isolate initial points of leverage and interest for significantly improving the performance of the organization.
This is an important discussion which enables the organization leaders to privately examine what might be causing the problems, what options might be necessary for correction, and what leverage points they have for change. By giving the organization leaders a preview of the data, they are not blind-sided or caught flat-footed when further analysis takes place after the first workshop and are aware of the data led direction of travel before the vision setting session in workshop 2. We expect a succinct executive report to be created to present to the senior sponsoring management, targeted at informed decision making along with an Executive Briefing and Action Planning Session.
During the first workshop we will be exploring the data that has been collected and considering the initial picture it shows us. The point if this is to aid in the collection of further data to clarify and broaden understanding. The pre workshop expectation is that participants gather together what is there, maybe combining it with some simple surveys and other basic data collection mechanisms to give a general picture. Within the workshop we will be exploring why some items have been a struggle to collect, and what potential solutions to that could look like. A further data collection plan will be devised, and the expectation will be that the missing data will be available by workshop 2, where it will be used to inform the setting of the vision for the future.
The first workshop will introduce three key pieces of relevant theory to attendees: Human Relations Theory, Systems Theory and Quantitative Management. The research behind Human Relations Theory shows that staff satisfaction is related to the attention shown to people by management over the content of any specific change and can be an excellent starting point to understanding why team satisfaction levels are perhaps not what executives would like. The theory focuses management practice and understanding through the lens of the individual staffs needs and resultant behaviours of individuals and groups created by management inputs. This is an interpersonal approach to managing human beings, and considers organisations as made up of both formal and informal elements, with six basic propositions at its heart:
• People are more important than machines or economics
• The organizational environment is not an organized social context
• Individuals’ motivation is impacted by their relationships within the workplace
• Teamwork impacts motivation, and this requires the co-ordination and cooperation of individuals
• The relationships within a team must fulfil both individual and organizational objectives at the same time if they are to be effective
• Maximum results with minimum input generates desired levels of efficiency for both individuals and organizations
The Hawthorne studies were led by Professor Elton Mayo between 1924 – 1932 and were designed to evaluate the attitudes and psychological reactions of workers in on-the-job situations. Initially exploring the impact of illumination levels on worker productivity, the usefulness of the data generated by the study led it to be expanded to cover a broader range of workplace conditions. Across the experiments a key common theme was identified as important in group performance – the attention given to staff from management. These findings became known as the Hawthorne Effect – individuals perform better when given special attention. Wider findings from the study were:
• Job performance and output are significantly impacted by group dynamics.
• Groups have their own norms and beliefs, independent of the norms and beliefs of their individual members.
• The perceived meaning and importance of a person’s work is the primary determinant of output rather than pay.
• Employees do not respond best to command and control but prefer a cooperative attitude from superiors.
• Communication between management and staff is essential to understanding employee issues.
• Actual workplace culture sets production standards – despite any standards and culture set by managers.
Systems Theory encourages the consideration of the organisation as both a system and in the context of its external environment, looking at how different sub-systems interact to either create synergistic performance enhancement or long-term decline in performance.
During this workshop you will learn the fundamental concepts of System Theory and Thinking. You will understand how these concepts can be applied to your company. You will appreciate how they can be applied to organizations to create positive change.
Systems Theory can be used to define the environment in which your company exists and its role within its business environment. Systems Theory acts to define the boundary between the internal and external environments of the company. Systems Theory helps to define the inputs into the company and the outputs from the company.
Systems Thinking includes several important concepts;
The three laws of organizational systems; entropy, inertia and synergy.
Systems Thinking also identifies five characteristics of organizational systems;
3. Dynamic Homeostasis and Feedback
4. Equivocality and Requisite Variety
5. Statistical Fluctuation and Covariance.
Finally, there are then a set of organizational system principles;
1. The activities within a system define the system and are interrelated and interdependent on each other.
2. The effectiveness of how an overall system functions is determined by how its subsystems function Inputs move into the system and outputs move out of the system through permeable and defined boundaries.
3. The permeability of the boundary can be controlled by the system.
4. It takes positive energy injected into the system to overcome entropy.
5. Levels of synergy are inherent in how interactive and interdependent parts of a system are with each other.
6. There are multiple ways to reach a desired outcome, in other words, there is no “one best way”.
7. Subsystems exit within a larger system and have the same characteristics and principles as the larger system.
The exponential expansion of data systems in business makes the application of Quantitative Management theory valid to all business contexts, but data is not a panacea and cannot be used to answer all management or leadership questions. The quantitative approach to management involves the use of quantitative techniques, such as statistics, information models, and computer simulations, to improve decision making. This school consists of several branches, described in the following sections.
Scientific management schools emerged to teach solutions to the problems associated with the logistics of global warfare. Managers are today encouraged to use mathematics, statistics, and other quantitative techniques to make the best management decisions.
Today computer models can be used to work out the best way to achieve a goal — saving organisations both money and time. Managers have a range of tools that they can deploy including;
• Mathematical forecasting – forecasts that make projections for use in the planning process.
• Inventory modelling – this enables Just In Time systems that optimise the levels of inventory help.
• Queuing theory that helps allocate staff and supporting resources to minimize customer wait times and service costs.
Operations management is a form of quantitative methodology used for management. Its I focus is the management of the processes of transforming materials, people, and capital into goods or services something which is a concern both manufacturing and service organizations. The transformation process is the operations or activities used to produce finished goods or services of value to customers or clients from the initial set of resources.
Modern Operations management pays close attention to the demands of quality, customer service, and competition. The process begins with attention to the needs of customers: What do they want? Where do they want it? When do they want it? Based on the answers to these questions, managers line up resources and take any action necessary to meet customer expectations.
Management information systems
Management information systems (MIS) is a recent development in the quantitative school of thinking. A management information system organizes data from the past, present and future from multiple sources and transform it into usable information. This information can then be used by managers with an organisation to information their decision making process. These information systems are able to rapidly and repeatedly organize data into usable and accessible formats.
Learning through Action
The strength of the Team Performance Transformation process is that constant action and implementation of learning is required. The preparation and learning is the start of the process, the discussions and exploration then deepen the understanding, ready for the practical implementation of the learnings. It is this application that not only solidifies the new understanding but then enables further insights to be explored and analysed by the project team in the following workshops.
This adds a further dynamic to the process and empowers a process of continual improvement.
Leadership and management training must go beyond being an academic exercise. It is only when implemented that those leaders will define their individual styles and establish how they can best work with the theoretical training they have received. It is in the heat of the moment, when they experience their own reactions and feelings, while having to manage the team and their challenges, that they will fully understand and integrate their new skills and tools to create a positive successful transformational outcome.
The discussions around case studies, simulations and interactive games all play a crucial part, as that is where the confidence, capability and encouragement to apply the new principles starts to build. It is through these simulations that people become more comfortable with the new concepts and thinking, and the ideas around ‘best practice’ can be discussed. Added to this are the questions, frameworks and diagnostics the workshop provides, creating the tools that can help with the implementation of those new ‘best practices’ in the workplace.
This stress on implementation is also highly important for retention. 80% of learning is retained after three weeks if it immediately implemented. If this doesn’t happen, the retention rate of that learning drops massively, to as low as 20% after a three week period, jeopardising any success of the transformation process.
Further, when this learning is implemented immediately and starts to produce better results, the stakeholders start to see the value of the process, creating an environment of encouragement for the project team and for the workforce. With more people vested in the transformation, the process will naturally gain more positive momentum, speeding up the improvements in efficiency and productivity. This can then lead to further opportunities for the organisation to grow and prosper.
The Reason for Team Workshops
The reasons the Team Performance Transformation training must be given in a workshop environment to a carefully selected team is to give process the best chance of success.
Firstly, it must be given in a workshop style as the training needs to be viewed in the context of the current situation of the organisation. The project team will come with data and information that is current and not theoretical. Each participant needs to understand the current challenges they and their teams face.
Secondly, because a project team is present, each workshop becomes a catalyst for expanded learning through discussions and comparisons, helping each other understand how the process can be best implemented. The team becomes its own support network, both inside the workshop and outside in the daily running of business.
Thirdly, the team become the ambassadors of change, effecting many different parts of the organisation at once. This transformation process will require a change of thinking, operations, processes and culture. Therefore, they become a force for change, knowing it will lead to a better environment for the workforce and improved success of the organisation, a message that would be very difficult for a single person to put across.
Once this team starts to work with their component parts of the workforce, implementing the activities from the workshop that lead to positive change, the transformation process will gain momentum and support from people who are outside the workshop. That momentum will increase as the process of transformation is adopted by the teams themselves.
Role of the Learning Provider
The Appleton Greene Learning Provider will provide the training to the attendees, as well as facilitating the discussions, exercises and reviews held within each workshop. They will also provide the course materials as well as set the tasks for the preparation of each workshop.
Role of the Coach
Management of the transformation process is the Project Manager’s responsibility. This person can also be the same person as the individual who is serving as the Workshop Coach, (either an internal person or an outside Appleton Greene Consultant). This is a vital role, and the person selected should be both qualified and passionate about the Team Performance Transformation process. They must already have the necessary skills and experience to be able to oversee the action plans the teams will create during the workshops. They will also need to be familiar with the organisation’s operations, as they may need to be actively coaching team leaders through their own implementation. They may need to help the participants develop and implement the robust plans that are necessary to ensure the success of the process.
As the Learning Provider, we will work with and provide this person with a Facilitator’s Handbook, a monthly one-hour conference call (or ZOOM meeting) with the coach, offering email guidance and support when needed.
Single Point of Contact
Rather than cause confusion and unnecessary complications, we would stress the importance of having a single point of contact in the organisation. This would normally be the person responsible for the success of the transformation process. If there is a need for any other communication, then this designated person in the company needs to authorise that to happen. The communication channel would need to be agreed as well as the expected response times between communications.
The Importance of Great Communication
Great communication is vital at all levels for this process to work effectively. As important as they are between the Learning Provider and the agreed single contact, it is just as important for those between that designated person and the other learning participants. As Learning Provider, we will work with you to support communications at various stages of the transformation process, to provide consistency and avoid any confusion. We will also provide a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet. Each organisation may want to add more information or revise for their unique situation, and this will be agreed at the start of the project.
To ensure that the Team Performance Transformation is kept on track with the initial goals set at the start of the process, there are two levels of review. These are monthly and annually.
The value of the process must be measured by the results it produces and the success it brings. This is how the true Return on Investment is ascertained. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that the learning has taken place and can appropriately applied to the real-time problems or opportunities in the workplace. Goals will have been set and plans for their achievement will have been created, with clear measurements for their success.
The review also needs to assess the impact the training and the workshops have had on each of the participants. Therefore, there will be a review after each monthly workshop, a review each three months, and an annual review. These reviews do not have to be long and drawn out, but will focus on knowledge, skills, behaviours and the application of these to observed practice. On a wider level we will explore how the TPT process implementation is going, and the root causes of both success and any struggles to inform course and support changes.
At end of every Workshop, participants (as Teams or as Individuals) will be asked several questions:
· “What have you learnt?”
· “How are you going to apply your learning?”
· “Are you confident to complete the work required by the next workshop?”
· “What is standing in the way of your success?”
· “What are you going to about overcoming this barrier?”
· “What Messages are you going to deliver to your Team or Organisation?”
· “Anything you would change to improve this Workshop?”
After every Workshop the Steering Committee will meet to digest the Participant’s feedback and suggest course adjustments to the Learning Provider.
Within each workshop there will be subtle and built-in testing of understanding with particpants knowledge and understanding as part of the teaching.
Monthly Implementation Review
A true picture of learner understanding comes from their ability to understand and apply key concepts and skills to their own practice in a quality manner. Generally, we see that learners who struggle to complete work have either failed to understand key areas of knowledge, need further practice to make new skills more secure before they can apply them to their practice, or either mindset or life has gotten in the way. We need to understand the reasons why a learner has not progressed in the way we expected so that we can offer enhanced support. This is one of the key drivers behind the use of the Harrison Assessment both prior to and during the first workshop. These state-of-the-art diagnostics give us a real insight into participants strengths and personalities – helping to inform how best to support their learning.
The formal Monthly Implementation Review is best carried out at the end of each month by the coach and the Client Steering Team. In addition to reviewing the work being completed by each participant these key questions will be covered:
· Have the objectives been achieved?
· Is the quality of work satisfactory?
· Is the volume of work acceptable?
· Can we see any early benefits from this month’s learning?
· What is standing in the way of success this month?
· What needs to happen to support success this month?
· What are the timelines for key actions?
· Who will be responsible for what tasks?
· Who should be informed or consulted during the application?
Support from the coach should be given to assist in helping the participants accomplish their tasks each month – focusing both on quality and quantity. The nature of their closeness to both the participants and the operation, they are in the best position to assist. We, as Learning Providers have a wealth of experience in applying the key learnings in the Program during our careers. We are available to the Coach if our support is required.
We are looking to have a close collaborative relationship with the coach so we can make changes to the programme to support and hiccups or successes on the transformation journey.
Annual Process Review
In the end the most important thing is that this transformation project works at improving business performance and meeting the objectives set out at the start. An idea can be amazing, but if it does not achieve the desired objectives it has to be considered a failure. Participants attention will be brought back to the key project objectives on a regular basis through the course as way of making sure the right decisions are being made.
The purpose of the annual review is to ensure the Client receives considerable value from the time, money, and human energy invested. The aim of the training provider is to exceed all expectations in the delivery of training and quality of workshops, so that the coach and all the participants can create a meaningful transformation of the teams within the organisation, creating a level of success that significantly advances the company’s standing.
The level of success can only be measured if the project teams are continuously feeding back demonstrable data.
This feedback must be both qualitative and quantitative, allowing all parties to be constantly learning and evolving, refining the process efficacy from teaching all the way through to implementing.
The Annual Process Review process starts at the commencement of the Programme with the collection and analysis of a large amount of data showing current levels of business performance. This is our baseline for demonstrating the impact of the first and second year efforts and how the success of those efforts will be measured.
These annual reviews should involve the entire Steering Team and should be assessing:
· the value delivered,
· marking the transformation success against specific, measurable targets,
· the Return on Investment of both time and money,
· any changes needed in content delivery, processes, media, support, or workshop management,
· any improvements required to ease the challenges of implementation
· any possible adaptations required to make it more relevant to specific audiences, including commentary around any new module or program development required.
It is vitally important the project team consult all stakeholders to determine their observations about the process, and the value it is bringing into the field of operations. This should include the perspective of the Senior Executive Team.
These three different reviews are vital to ensure that all stakeholders can see the effectiveness of the parts they are playing in the transformation process and also that the progress of the transformation is delivering measurable results and outcomes that are contributing to the success of the company.
It is crucial for the Senior Executive Team for these reviews to take place, as they will offer the necessary data that will enable them to see the tangible return on their investment.
This first workshop has two key themes: data analysis and psychometrics
Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making. In ancient Iraq over 2000 years ago, scribes produced lists of ploughmen employed by the state, calculated their wages directly from this raw data and recorded this information on clay tablets – creating the first database and starting data analytics too. While recording systems technology may have evolved over the next 2000 years to finally use paper and typewriters, the big evolution did not occur until the 1960s with the creation of computers as decision-making support systems. Data can be used in a variety of ways within an organisation: it is the process of gathering information and making sense of it in order to make important decisions, to predict trends, and to improve your business.
The ability to process ever larger amounts of data has revolutionised the business world. But the ability of leaders, managers and staff to design systems that will enhance how a business is run lags behind what is technically possible. Whether it is in purchasing a ready made piece of software, or commissioning something bespoke, there is an art to picking a system which can answer the questions managers have in a timely and easy manner. Too often a system is designed to spit out the answer that someone else thought was interesting. So as a leader or manager you are left no further forward.
Historically there have been several key barriers for organisations to overcome in order to adapt to being data driven in their decision making, and these barriers are still relevant today. Four key barriers are: That the format of the data is not easily readable – this may be due to a reliance on paper forms, or a love of free text which can give great qualitative information but makes counting things difficult. Many businesses can feel overwhelmed with the volume of data to process, or find it difficult to identify the important data from the stuff which adds little value. How your data is stored makes a significant difference to your ability to both easily process it and to analyse it to get useful insights. How information is both collected and stored are key parts of the design process which organisations have needed to overcome. Finally, many organisations need to invest in the right equipment and skills for quality data analytics. The ability to produce a number is only half of the problem and many organisations have failed to historically invest sufficiently in developing management ability to interpret data accurately and use it to inform decision making.
There are several examples of businesses who have used data analytics to not just transform their business decision making but also their business model. In the UK, Tesco launched their Clubcard loyalty programme in 1995, long before internet shopping-based data harvesting. The data from the Clubcard meant Tesco learned that a few loyal customers accounted for most of their sales. Address data showed how far people travelled to their stores. These insights allowed Tesco to create tailored coupons and offers to nudge customer behaviour, this rewarded their loyal high spenders and pushed casual customers to engage more. Within the first year the data showed Clubcard customers spent on average 4% more than non-Clubcard customers. The Clubcard’s success for Tesco led to a stampede from other retailers towards rewards schemes and supported the brand in becoming the UK’s largest grocery store chain.
The word psychometrics specifically refers to the body of work and practice the theory and technique of psychological measurement. This means the objective measurement of skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational achievement. As such it can significantly aid decision making concerning people, and help us to understand better how an individual or group may be suited to a particular task, activity or situation.
In Victorian Britain, Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species”, which explored the reasons for individual differences in animals. He talked about how individual members in a species could differ as well as the characteristics of adaptation. Species who have more adaptive characteristics could be seen as the ones more likely to survive, with their next generation likely to be at least as adaptive and successful.
Francis Galton developed the first true psychometric test in the 1880s by taking Darwin’s work and applying it to humans. Galton’s key focus was to try to understand the psychological differences between people rather than their common traits. By measuring physical characteristics as well as sensory and motor skills he generated a score for intelligence. Sensory thresholds were measured via the use of brass instruments, as well reaction times to visual and auditory stimuli. Around 17,000 were tested by Galton proving that objective tests could provide meaningful scores. This work was expanded upon by Dr. James Cattell in 1890 in developing his ‘mental test’
By 1901 Clark Wissler, build on the work completed by Cattell in beginning the first basic validation research, and his work demonstrated there was no correlation found between Cattell’s mental test scores and academic achievement. His test sample only included bright college students and can be seen as being slightly disappointing. This work directly led to the development of Validity testing.
By 1905 Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon, developed a psychometric test designed to identify young children affected by mental deficiencies. This resulted in the first modern intelligence test – the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale. This specifically tested for higher level psychological processes such as real abilities and practical judgments.
In the lead up to the First World War Robert Yerkes worked with the US Government to develop a test that could measure potential recruits ability to handle combat related stress – a key performance differentiator for the army. The project developed two tests with one being focused on generating meaningful responses to applicants with little or no literacy.
The final stage in the development of the modern psychometric came with the development of more advanced computer power in the 1980s creating the computerized adaptive test (CAT).
Why is data analysis the starting point of the team performance transformation process? Because you can have all the vision you like for the future of your business, if you do not know where you stand currently then you vision is more like wishful thinking. If you do not have the systems in place to be able to clearly state the levels of current performance in the organisation then rectifying this becomes part of the transformation process. Being able to measure impact is an incredibly important part of the transformation process – knowing what is working, and being able to investigate the root causes of performance in real time transforms manager behaviour, from playing the blame game to understanding what is happening and being able to take calm corrective action before a dip turns into a crisis.
Today, most organisations use data to inform much decision making, but outside Silicon Valley, many can’t claim to be fully data-driven. The annual NewVantage Partners executive survey showed that only 24% of organisations questioned felt they had created a data-driven organization. To be fully data-driven requires leaders to rely on key metrics even when it’s not easy or convenient to do so. True data-driven organizations have culture of using data that permeates the entire firm and informs every aspect of performance and service, not just certain areas where people are excited about this stuff. The same survey also reported that 99% of firms have invested in data initiatives and 92% reported the pace of investment is accelerating mainly sue to changing attitudes and skill levels amongst staff.
Part of this is the ability of organisations to identify and inform staff performance, engagement and motivation levels. Team Performance Transformation is just as much about improving staff capabilities and satisfaction as it is about tracking other areas of business performance. Even in the most automated businesses, we are nothing without our staff. This is especially true for service organisations.
In addition to investing massively in data analytics to run the logistics and retail side of their business, Wal-Mart has also focused on capability metrics for staff. By looking at employee turnover and movement Wal-Mart can identify roles and career paths for their employees, identifying talent development and capability needs to enhance performance and satisfaction. They are also able to correlate staff metrics with customer experience data, creating improved performance, efficiency, and greater success across the board. One of the biggest indicators of the success of this approach is that more than a quarter of a million people have been with the company for over ten years – a huge achievement.
Key reasons holding many organisations back from becoming fully data driven include a lack of commitment from key decision makers. The 2016 executive survey by McKinsey, counted this as the biggest contributing factor to analytics success or failure. But this is not the only barrier. Many organisations do not have a data strategy which is well aligned with business goals. You cannot collect data for the sake of it. And this lack of alignment can led to poor purchasing decisions where the choices over what to invest in get politicised or turn into vanity projects. Accenture found that only 33% of firms reported they trusted “their data enough to use it effectively and derive value from it.”. This comes back to organisation culture and the fact that data led decisions can only be as good as the data they are based on. Clean data and quality data entry are both design and quality assurance issues. Businesses can design systems which are robust and able to work properly even during times of stress and can create the business culture which sees doing things right first time as the only acceptable level of performance. All of this takes a lot of effort, which comes back to the desire of the senior leadership team.
A further issue that can impede the drive for data led decision making can be a workforce lacking in the skills and comfort to work with data. A recent Qlik/Accenture survey revealed only 21% of workers were fully confident in their data literacy skills. They explained this can be as basic as “the ability to read, understand, question and work with data”. This is rather concerning as just because staff have more data at their disposal, if they do not have the skills to process it effectively it losses it’s value to inform decision making. In the same survey 74% of respondents expressed feeling overwhelmed or unhappy when working with data, showing this is a real issue impacting performance now. This is not just an issue affecting junior staff, Deloitte found 67% of managers and executives reported they were not comfortable accessing or using data from their analytics tools. This demonstrates it is not enough to provide the tools and systems, staff at all levels in the organisation need to be both trained to use the tolls and performance managed to do so. It is not all depressing though, a 2015 McKinsey study found companies that invested in a rigorous change management approach reported a 79% success rate—three times the average for all other initiatives and demonstrating the importance of the kind of transformation process you are exploring here.
Current applications of psychometrics focus heavily within recruitment functions with 80% of Fortune 500 firms using psychometric tests in some capacity to make recruitment decisions, looking to make more reliable and less risky decisions and to try and predict future staff performance. Key benefits include objective measurement of certain abilities and interests against the general population, so rather than having to ask about a person’s work tempo where they cannot answer the question accurately compares this to others, producing a better quality answer. Psychometric tests help to identify what people really like, enjoy or find stressful as opposed to what they want you to think about them, or what they are trying to persuade themselves is the situation. This greatly enhances interviewing.
Psychometrics are also used to assess organisational culture. The real one, not what people would like it to be. A major part of culture is driven by who you have actually working in the business and how they naturally like to operate. This is not the same as the preferences that drive specific job match. So a person can be a great match for a job, but not a great match to the personality of the organisation. This thinking can help inform cultural change issues. Workplace fit is not just about culture, it is also adaptiveness to work environment. So many people find it tough to work as part of a team, or struggle to concentrate in a noisy busy environment. Knowing this ahead of time helps improve decision making – why knowingly make a person miserable and sub-optimally effective by placing them in an uncomfortable environment when a couple of subtle changes can create a better chance of success?
And finally, research by Google examined the relationship between interview performance and future job performance. Across a sample of tens of thousands of people they found zero relationship. Many companies have found that not all psychometrics are equally good, and there are certain groups of people who really struggle to engage with an on-line test. But overall, psychometrics are contributing a lot to many organisations understanding of their people and how to get the best out of them – a key to maximising performance.
In the future, all organisations will be much more data driven than they are today. Management teams and individuals will be set up to make strategic and tactical decisions based on data rather than opinion or gut instinct. Increasingly, processes will be automated so that decisions and actions will be taken with minimal human intervention. The art will be in creating these automations so that they feel personalised and not ‘computer says no’.
Research shows that companies which already use data to analyse the effectiveness of their marketing plans and so make data-driven decisions achieve results six times better than their non data driven rivals. For many businesses, the pareto principle holds so that 80% of sales can be attributed to a small number of customers. Understanding and responding to that impacts sales and account management tactics. Amazing customer tracking data gives the power to businesses to influence and nudge those loyal customers to return and spend more. It is hard to really understand what is important to customers without being able to ask them. This questioning can be done through surveys, but also via social media, and promotions. These all generate data to be interpreted. There are plenty of case studies of organisations who are doing this well, but the art is in applying this to a different market or business context – understanding the nub of the genius to be exported and what is not important.
External benchmarking is not a new phenomenon, but in the future organisations will use increasingly sophisticated methos to merge data from ever more sources to create ever more intricate opportunities for business insights.
Think about being able to combine internal data with social media feeds, external sources and data captured via the Internet of Things.
Cloud-based data sources make it possible for companies to benchmark their performance to their competitors. They can use publicly available data to find out how their competitors are doing and do complex analytics on the relative performance. Data analytics can be used to set internal goals for the business and measure progress towards those goals. Historical trend data can be used to forecast business performance going forward.
Gartner predicts that, by the end of 2024, most organizations will have transitioned away from initial pilot programs and experiments to fully-operationalized Big Data strategies. This shift to full production use of the technology will greatly increase the amount of data flowing around the internet lead to significant growth in the complexity of organisations analytics structures. As the number of data sources in every day use group businesses will call increasingly on AI, machine learning and natural language processing to untangle the complexity withing the business data sets. They will become vital to obtain answers to key business questions in a timely manner.
Gartner coined the phrase Augmented analytics in 2017. It refers to a process of automating data analysis and the generation of insights using natural language processing and machine learning. This is a logical evolution in the analysis of Big Data and will be vital aid to data analysts going forward as the seek to offer businesses solutions to the increasing challenges linked to the sheer volume of data that some companies are now seeking to process and exploit.
This will help to democratise the access to data insights making workers more data-driven. Data Science will become an everyday skillset within the workplace. AI and the augmented analytics will help organisations address the growing shortage of skilled workers.
Most traditional BI tools were hypothesis driven, the analyst setup to prove or disprove an idea. With AI based platforms the tools are able to process and test hundreds of hypotheses at a time. They can look for previously undreamt of correlations between data points. Relationships that we would previously never have dreamt of looking for.
The platforms include capabilities to do things like Natural Language based queries making it easier for untrained users to enter queries. Think Google search queries. The systems can then make recommendations based on those answers and explain the basis for those recommendations. Think Amazon recommending what books to read next on your Kindle.
Putting NLP in front of complex talks provides for all manner of innovations where BI systems that were previously complex to use become readily available to the masses to use. As has always been the case though data literacy will still be an issue. Users will need to understand the factors that influence the quality of recommendations these systems produce. Garbage in Garbage out will still very much apply, bias of all forms within data sets will still be present waiting to catch us out when we least expect it. Organisation will need to train their staff to recognise the risks inherent in these technologies.
As Internet of Things adoption grows, continuous intelligence is likely to have a big impact; the technology brings real-time analytics into business operations by processing data in real time, analysing incoming data against long term trends, and recommending actions instantly.
5G has huge potential not only due to the higher connection speed, its low-latency, continuous coverage will support technologies like smart infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and automated public transport networks. Big Data is likely to get a lot bigger which will present a huge problem to companies that are late adopters of the technology that are still trying to become truly data driven.
Prescriptive and predictive analytics are already popular. COVID-19 has brought this type of analytics to the masses. The new wave of Analytics will make it easier for companies to deal with this type of market disruption in future. They will be able to model the impact of multiple shocks to global systems and the impacts they are likely to have. The leaders will be able to use the trends in the big data to weave an efficient path around the bumps in the road.
These complex data trends will make it possible to model different responses to black swan events this is due, in part, to the rise in “X Analytics.” X Analytics, a term recently coined by the Gartner research firm, is the ability to run any type of analytics on all of an organization’s structured and unstructured data, no matter where or in what format that data resides. This will become increasingly important. The pandemic changed customer behaviour significantly, forcing rapid change of digital systems globally.
Data Visualisation skills will be at a premium, the ability to take formerly dry dense reports and transform them into compelling easy to consume visuals will be key to reaching a wider market. This will have a particular impact for sales and marketing professionals who are used to generating insights that tap into prospective clients emotional need to purchase.
The flat graphs in the sales brochures of yesterday year will be replaced by moving interactive projections based on real world data. They will become an increasingly powerful value add in the sales process.
Within organisations visualizations will be used to aid more decisions and increasingly complex decisions at that — everything from approving a new product, to reworking a supply chain process to working out where an organisations competitive advantage lies.
As alluded to earlier data quality and how to manage it will be the biggest challenge. Data volumes are already expanding at exponential rates this will continue. 5G, Internet of Things and the increasing ability of organisations to mine unstructured information will only lead to an increase in the amount of data available.
There are 12 course manuals for this first workshop, designed to support participants to be able to effectively complete their data analysis by the second workshop, and to generate a real understand of current levels of organisational performance:
SWOT Analysis: There is a reason why this is an evergreen analysis technique covered in every business school and at every level of business education. It works. This exercise is designed partly as a get to know you, and also to capture different perspectives about what is going on in the organisation at the moment.
PESTLE Analysis: SWOTs bigger brother, and again probably nothing that you haven’t used before. For us to deliver really effective training we need to understand both your business and your context, and there may be several members of the project team who have never completed a PESTLE for your firm. And your external context has a habit of changing over time, so it is good practice to update PESTLE regularly even when it is a key part of your management practice.
Initial Data Findings: In preparation for this workshop, participants have collected a lot of data. Now we need to begin the work of making sense of this data and understanding what we have and if it is any use. Most modern businesses are swamped with data, and the key is in picking the good from the pointless. This is our first chance to really see what the project team have managed to achieve and to get an idea of the broad themes of this transformation.
Benchmarking: Data without context is just information. Benchmarking is a key technique for delivering context – both internal and external comparisons are valid and can be used to help inform analysis such as SWOT and PESTLE. Something you may consider a weakness may not be when your current performance is compared to others. This does not mean you won’t take action to improve performance further, but this may be given less urgency.
Quantitative Management: The proliferation of data in the world has led to the development of new management theories to support practice. This can aid staff to adopt new ways of working by understanding the theoretical benefits. Naturally analytical people find quantitative management to be natural to them. Those who are naturally highly intuitive who do not enjoy working with data find this challenging.
Human Relations Theory:
We can have all the data in the world, but human interaction drives work performance and satisfaction. A transformation project which is not rooted in understanding and applying this will not be successful. And the point of this transformation is to Supercharge Performance. There is much to learn and apply from the Hawthorn experiments which are still as relevant in their findings now as they were a century ago.
Quality is one of the big themes of Supercharged Performance, and one we will be coming back to again and again. Being able to define what this word means for your organisation is an important technique for then driving quality improvement. For us, we are looking to understand what quality means to you as a business now, and what you would like it to mean in the future. There is a body of theory and practice about how managing quality leads to significantly improved business performance, and we will start unpicking it here.
Case Study: Sports Direct: Sports Direct is one of the largest, most aggressive retailers in the UK. There is much to admire in their rapid expansion while others have contracted or gone under during the past decade. But that is not to say that the business practices are perfect. Exploring this case study is designed to help participants start to pull together the strands of learning in this workshop and start to apply them holistically.
Systems Theory: Organisations are an eco-system of connected parts operating within an external environment which influences strategy and choices. We will be using the Sports Direct case study to explore some of the key questions and learning from systems theory and apply it to a more practical context. This will allow participants to be better able to apply this to your organisation.
Root Cause Analysis: Quantitative Management Theory pushes us to use data to make decisions, tools such as SWOT and PESTLE encourage judgement making. Now we need a methodology to explore why things are as they are, and to undercover the things that need to change if we want to have a different outcome. Again, this is a very well-established tool, but in our experience, it is not necessarily a standard part of day to day management practice. In terms of setting the direction for future transformation, it is a critical technique for correct diagnosis.
Identifying Data Gaps: We do not expect participants to arrive at this workshop having perfectly collected every piece of data which is relevant to the task at hand. And for this data set to be so perfect that it has managed to justify every statement from the SWOT, PESTLE, benchmarking, quality assurance, and root cause analysis. This then is where we start thinking about what needs to be collected before the next workshop and the best way to collect it. This manual also adds in some sensible data collection best practice.
System Architecture Plan: This does indeed sound scary to everyone who is not part of the IT department. Simply put, it is a diagram which shows what IT assets the organisation has at its disposal. This might be physical systems, software, cloud based, in a server room, and across all sites. Why is this important? Because in order to transform how the organisation is working the team need to understand what is already there – for every site and every department. Including all the unofficial workarounds. This will take time to collect, which is why we are introducing it in the first workshop, so it will be ready for workshop 5.