Identified a critical business role?

Want to know what good to great looks like for that role?

Want more consistency of “greatness” in role?

Here, red10‘s Sarah Barber explains how the “Good to Great” approach can help develop a group of people in a business critical role.

Getting the Right People in the Room

The first step is to get the right people involved in a workshop.

We ask the leader(s) to work with the best performers and create a 3600 map of the system in which the group operate, then inviting key stakeholders to join them in a workshop.

It is important to identify stakeholders that care about people in that role and are invested in helping them become the best that they can be.

Creating a rich picture of great performance

Before the workshop, we agree with the leader(s) 4-6 key areas for those in the business-critical role.

For instance, examples for a business-critical project leader might include “Building a high-performing team” or “Navigating the project through organization”.

In the workshop, we break into smaller groups and assign each group a key area. They fill-in a 3-column flipchart by answering three questions:

  • What does good performance look like?
  • What does great performance look like?
  • Why does the difference matter?

The output is a 3-column flipchart for each area which contrasts the good and the great. Groups then rotate around the room visiting each flipchart and adding any builds using sticky notes.

These descriptions are useful in themselves.

A rich picture is built up, which individuals can use to define their own development plans and their managers can use for performance coaching. It can also be used to create a recruitment pack helping to select individuals likely to deliver great performance in role.

What stops the good from becoming great?

We generally ask workshop attendees to prioritize good to great themes using sticky dot voting. For the priority themes, the next step is to identify the root-causes holding back those in role, with the question “What stops the good from becoming consistently great?”

We explore root-causes under 4 headings:-

  • Knowledge – perhaps some of those in role don’t know what is expected of them?
  • Skills – Perhaps training or coaching in specific areas is needed?
  • Motivation – perhaps those in role don’t feel incentivized to deliver great performance?
  • Environment – perhaps something about the organisation structure is getting in the way?

As Nigel Harrison, on whose work this approach is based, says “Learning and Development is never a solution on its own”. Making real improvements usually involves addressing issues associated with motivation and environment as well – which is why they are included as headings when we look at root causes.

In practice, we ask participants to work on their own to list out root-causes on sticky notes. Then the workshop attendees combine sticky notes into themes and name the root-cause using a technique we call controlled clusters.

Taking action to address the root causes

Another round of prioritization may be needed to identify the most important root causes. We then break into smaller groups again to come up with solutions to tackle the root causes preventing good from becoming consistently great.

Often, groups find that solutions lie within their own control. They can start doing things differently together – using the support of the group plus co-coaching and mentoring.

Sometimes a Learning and Development intervention may be helpful. The leader may choose to make changes to the environment or think about changing the way people are incentivised. Some of these solutions might be discussed and agreed upon post-workshop when the leader has had a chance to reflect on outputs.

Do you want to know more?

Could we help you raise the performance of a critical role in your business from Good to Great? Contact red10 to learn more about the approach.