People Management: What can your Leadership team do to help the survivors of a restructuring?

We’ve set out below 6 suggestions as to what may help you and your team pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back to the job of increasing revenues, decreasing costs and improving client delight with your services after a bout of company restructuring or downsizing

1. Where to next?
For most of the survivors they will want you to answer this question.
They’ll need an answer from you about the company direction and new vision and one for them personally.
Once you’ve answered that as clearly and as candidly as you can there will be a host of others, some tricky.
You’ll need to answer those too.
A great time to practice the art of management by wandering around.
Ask lots of questions yourself, listen, be interested, be accessible and be present.
Show the teams that you are saddened by the moves you’ve had to make but excited about the future

2. Rethink the vision
Your team will expect the leadership team to be able to articulate the new vision.
Do this with passion and people will follow. The more vivid and exciting the more enthusiasm.

3. Set new goals and progress measures
If you know where you are heading then it should be clear to your teams how to measure progress and set milestones.
This will provide clear focus and direction and cause for celebrations later (when you hit targets)

4. Empower the survivors
Ask your teams to take responsibility for their part of the shared plan.
This could be an opportunity for them to show how great they are, however they need to move quickly and before your competitors do.

5. Roll up your sleeves
You and your teams will know that you will probably have too much work to do, too many things to do and so little time to do it in.
Be there to plug the occassional gap and smooth difficult transitions.

6. Be patient
A little time might be needed for people to grieve about the previous way you did business and ex-colleagues.
The new vision and new opportunities will take over in time

I hope that you appreciate us sharing our views with you and that the 6 suggestions have given you food for thought and action..

Sales Training: Sales Proposals missing the mark? Ideas to get back on target.

A large number of sales proposals that I have seen during my Sales and Sales Training career miss the mark.

Proposals often quickly move to product features because the sales people often have lots of product detail available to them in their systems.
All that cutting and pasting means that they don’t leave time to apply their knowledge to how their products can help their client.  This is the part that the client needs most!
Many sales proposals open with a page or two describing the seller’s company.
If so then I can guess that they won’t address the key issues that the prospect is facing.
They will also fail to demonstrate how your prospective client will benefit from buying your solution and probably miss your unique capabilities.
You’ve probably wasted your time producing them and decreased your chance of a win.

If in your sales process you really need to create proposals, here are a few ways to make yours stand out from your competitors.

First page of your Proposal

1. Open with a Situation Summary: or Where are they now?

The best way to open your sales proposal is to summarise your understanding of the prospect’s situation.

  • What is their problem?
  • What are they trying to achieve?
  • What are they experiencing or going through right now?

This single paragraph should grab your prospect’s attention because it speaks directly to the problems or challenges the prospect wants to fix and resolve.
If you have found out during your investigations and questioning how much it is costing them to do what they do today, then insert those numbers here.

2. Key Objectives or Where do they want to get to?

The next component of the proposal should contain four to six bullet points that outline the prospect’s key objectives.
What do they want to accomplish or achieve?
Again if you have discover what it may be worth for them to get to these goals then mention that approximate amount here, because this is their motivation to do something.

3. What Value to the Company

A list of several bullet points that describe the value and benefits of achieving those key objectives.

The benefits can be expressed as

  • An increase in Revenues or Sales
  • Higher customer satisfaction turning into loyalty
  • Reduction in costs per transaction
  • Improving Employee satisfaction or productivity
  • Compliance

The key to developing this page is to ask the right questions during your sales conversation(s). Ask questions that uncover the answers to these area and you take their answers and insert them into the proposal.

All of this information is placed on the first page of the proposal.
It focuses strictly on the customer, not on you, your company, or your service.
This is the best way to grab their attention and demonstrate your understanding of their needs and issues.

The Remaining Pages

After that, the remaining pages outline what you will do to help the customer achieve the objectives listed on the first page.

Every piece of information you include in a proposal must be interesting and relevant to the person reading it.
You seldom, if ever, need to include every single feature or aspect about your service.
Finally, make it easier to read by adding headings and including plenty of white space.
A five page, single-spaced proposal written in a 10-point font is not easy to read.
When given a document like that, many people will just skim through it, or worse, flip to the last page to see how much it costs.
Generally speaking even for complex solutions, the shorter your sales proposal and the more concise you make it, the better.
I  have only heard of one instance where the prospect weighed the proposals and threw out the heaviest and the lightest as a way to cut down the amount they had to read!
If your sales proposals aren’t generating the responses you expect, a change might be in order.

Try these ideas so that you stand out from your competitors. Let us know how you get on info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

And a final thought … Often you delegate your sales activities to an internal person.
(you may not yet be trusted to see the board of directors) .
By having a proposal structured like this it makes it easy for your internal fox or coach to sell your idea to the board…
After all they won’t be as good a sales person as you ;0)

Graduate Development : Understanding Generation Y

A new report on managers in their twenties and thirties sheds new light on their attitudes to work, skills and training, and what motivates and inspires them.

 ‘Generation Y; Unlocking the Talent of Young Managers’ by Dr Alison Macleod, is published by the CMI in association with Ordnance Survey.

The full report is based on qualitative and quantitative research of managers aged 35 and under.
It indicates that today’s younger managers are focused on long-term skills development to boost their career options.
An executive summary is free to download from www.managers.org.uk/Gen-Y

The Reports Key findings

    • Selfless, not selfish:
      Far from the stereotypical view of Generation Y as self-indulgent, today’s younger managers are driven by ethics and a sense of purpose.
      Only 13% claimed they ‘would quit their job tomorrow’ if they won the lottery.
      90% ‘want to work for an organisation that does something I believe in’ and 56% ‘would only work for organisations with strong values’.
    • Committed to the cause:
      Debunking the myth that Generation Y lacks commitment, the report shows that 63% of respondents have been in their current job for three years or more and only 4% strongly agreed with the statement that ‘there’s no point being excessively loyal to an organisation’.
      Almost two-fifths (38%) also work in the evenings, if necessary, 34% work at weekends and one-fifth (23%) also use ‘travel time’ for working.
    • Long-term career planning:
      T
      he idea that Generation Y is less committed to career planning has also been shattered by the study.
      Asked why they joined their current employer, many (75%) focused on the long-term career opportunities available.
      Almost two-thirds (62%) claim to have a personal development plan in place and a similar proportion (65%) suggest they ‘know what they need to achieve their ambitions’.

The research explodes the following myths:

Disloyal and impatient?
Young managers are more career-minded and willing to commit than the stereotype suggests.
They may not be prepared to accept things at face value but their willingness to challenge is based on a desire to develop, rather than a belief that they have all the answers and can change the world.
There is no support for the idea that this group shies away from hard work.
On the contrary, plenty of young managers are prepared to put in the hours, if they feel the work is worthwhile.
The difference between this generation and the previous one, according to the research, is that today’s younger managers are less keen to accept life-altering opportunities, such as transfers abroad.
They are more committed to integrating work with their life choices and relocating a long distance from family and friends may not always be compatible with this.

Self-absorbed and cosseted?
Today’s younger managers are not the selfish, ‘what’s in it for me’ generation that so many believe them to be.
In fact, far from being self-indulgent, Generation Y is driven by a sense of purpose and the search for meaning in their work.
Pay doesn’t factor highly when they choose roles – what counts is whether an organisation does something that individuals can believe in.

All the same? The findings show that although there are some characteristics and desires shared across Generation Y, employers would be wrong to label them as all wanting the same thing. While all exhibit commitment, some have single-minded dedication to their work and a clear career path; others are driven by ethics and values. In many ways, Generation Y is predictable, with the appearance of a challenging and demanding group. However, different managers want different things from work and the attractiveness of the ‘generation’ label should not blind older managers and employers to the complex individual story that may lie beneath.

Graduate Development and Personal development
A clear majority of younger managers surveyed by the Institute recognises that success isn’t a given, with a high proportion looking at personal development plans to help them achieve their ambitions.
They are more likely to move, than previous generations, if career development opportunities are not met, but this is largely down to a desire for work that challenges them than a thirst for immediate promotion.

Transferable skills
The research indicates that the majority of managers in their twenties and thirties are moving from their first management role towards establishing their careers, but are doing so against a background where the opportunity to develop transferable skills have been limited.

Development opportunities
The words most frequently chosen to describe ’employers of choice’ were approachable, supportive and inspiring.
Clearly, younger managers want some form of structure to help develop their skills and careers, but there are big gaps between what they want and what they get.
The problem, for employers, is that unless they are able to deliver, they will lose staff to the competition.

Coaching and Mentoring: 9 Myths of Coaching

Myth 1: You need to be an expert:
You don’t and often knowing what you would do and how, gets in the way of the coachee finding the right answer for them.

Myth 2: You need to have a formal coaching qualification:
No not necessarily, but you do need some key interpersonal skills, broad life and business experience.
The knowledge of and confidence to use an appropriate coaching model and approach would be very useful.

Myth 3: You should not coach a manager and someone reporting to them
Yes you can. However in all things coaching and mentoring be extra confidential and make sure that you are not being used as a communicating vehicle for them.

Myth 4: You must know the answers:
Absolutely not.
However it is your role to help the coachee to find answers that will work for them.

Myth 5: You give coachees what they want (ask for):
Yes but occasionally you should also offer them what you perceive they need – which may well be very different from what they are asking for.

Myth 6 : You cannot coach someone on the telephone:
Yes you can and some coaches have set themselves up coaching purely on the telephone
– However it is not the same communication relationship experience as face to face and we only use telephone conversations or emails usually to augment face to face coaching sessions.

Myth 7: It is enough for a coachee to merely ‘get it off their chest’
Whilst there is a benefit for coachees to be able to unburden themselves to a coach this is not the point of the exercise.
The aim is for them to think and then ACT differently as a result.

Myth 8: You must stick to the organisation’s agenda:
Not in our experience, however if an agenda does exists then you should ensure that the coachee knows exactly what it is from their manager/sponsor and that they buy-in to working on it.
The essence of non-directive coaching is that the coachee gets to work on their own agenda and not just that dictated by the organisation.
It is important that the sponsor knows that you are taking this approach.
In either case usually the end goal is to help the coachee to maximise their performance and satisfaction.

Myth 9: Anyone can be coached:
Only if they take responsibility, follow through on the actions that they have agreed and they want to be supported by a coach.

People Management: Ways to reduce resistance to changes in business

Managing change has always been difficult and will always be fraught with danger as it’s so easy to introduce change the wrong way.

So the logical question to ask is “is there is one perfect way to introduce and manage change”.

In our experience the answer is no. There is no universal solution which applies to all change programmes.
Organisations are different, the reasons for change are different, timescales and budgets are different.
Each change programme will have to be implemented on its own merits. But there are things we can do to reduce the level of resistance.

Ways to reduce resistance to change:

  • Be timely — Announce an impending change as quickly as possible – rumors start very quickly.
    Delivering bad news is one of the biggest challenges managers face
  • Be clear on the need for change — Find lots of ways to demonstrate why the change is necessary.
    Change management requires a compelling change story – communicating it to employees and following it up with ongoing communications and involvement
  • Involve People —  Involve interested parties in the planning of change by asking them for suggestions and incorporating their ideas.
    If people are involved in change and understand the reasons for it they become supportive of the whole idea and the change process.
    If people are given the opportunity to take responsibility and accountability for certain parts of a change programme their sense of ownership will make them even stronger advocates.
  • Communication — Lots of it.
    Change is unsettling because it brings with it an element of uncertainty and it is the uncertainty which is a major cause of resistance  to change.
    People can relate to facts – good or bad – but uncertainty and contradicting messages breed unease and resistance.
    Therefore, it is important to communicate with everybody about everything in relation to the upcoming changes in order to reduce the uncertainty.
    Use any communication channels available and remember that it is impossible to over-communicate  change.
  •  The past – You should make statements that honor the work and contributions of those who brought such success to the organisation in the past.
    Why? because on a very human but seldom articulated level, your audience will feel asked to betray their former mentors
    – whether those people remain in the organisation or not. A little good diplomacy at the outset can stave off a lot of resistance
  • Watch for staff reaction — Look for signals that something is not going well with the new change.
    Rather than trying to force a change, find out what the people don’t like about it.
    Work with their concerns or even rethink the proposed change
  • Control staff anxiety — Change means a new way of doing things and most people are fearful of the unfamiliar.
    Provide assurances that there will be support and time to become familiar with the new change.
    It takes a while for people to adjust
  • Use social media — Social media platforms are ideal mechanisms to facilitate change because much of change management boils down to ongoing conversations and dialogue in a company. Business leaders should start asking how can social media platforms help achieve business objectives beyond marketing: shaping company culture, strengthening change management initiatives, improving execution of corporate strategy, facilitating corporate communication, and increasing employee engagement.
  • Storytelling — Storytelling can be a powerful tool when you want to drive organisational change.
    Good leaders tell stories that “cast” them and their organisations as agents of change, rather than defenders of the status quo.
    As a leader, you cannot eliminate fear, abolish uncertainty or avoid the prospect of change for your company.
    However you can leverage these emotional navigational stakes to your greatest advantage by telling a purposeful story
  • Increase engagement by asking questions — Have you ever been “talked at” instead of had someone “talk with”?
    It doesn’t feel good to have someone talk at you. It leaves you feeling like you might as well not have been there at all.
    It is much more powerful to ask questions.
  • Create small wins — Large change management problems are best broken down into smaller ones with concrete achievable goals.
    Otherwise it can be so overwhelming that solutions seem unattainable – therefore, people often avoid tackling them or come up with single, grand programs that fail.
    Don’t forget to pour champagne on any small wins and do it publicly
  • Training programmes — Deliver training programmes that develop skills that are needed to support “the new way”
  • Don’t change for the sake of change — Continual change leads to resistance.
    Making a change for the purpose of shaking things up makes it more difficult to get acceptance of necessary changes.
    Save your energy for more important changes
  • Don’t be afraid to change your mind — Some changes don’t turn out as well as others.
    Why not say “forget it”. Nothing is gained by forcing staff to accept a change they know isn’t necessary.Companies most likely to be successful in making change work to their advantage are the ones that no longer view change as a discrete event, but as a constant opportunity to evolve the business.

If you need help with managing change or getting your new initiatives through the organisation please give us a call or email info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

Appraisals Training : Are your Objectives Clear? Want to bet on it?

How do you know if an objective is well formulated?  You could try betting on it

When working on objectives or trying to agree outcomes we all know we need to ask “How will we know when we’ve succeeded?”

The Rainmaker Appraisals Training Workshop will teach us that.

Every strategy should have intended outcomes – goals – and it’s helpful if those outcomes are clear enough that success or failure will be indisputable.

The usual question is “Do we have metrics?” (Or worse, “Do we have enough metrics?”) .

Well today we’d like to offer you an alternative. How about you say “Is our success stated so clearly, that we could place a bet on it?”. Place your bets:

At some point most of us have been in good-natured arguments with friends that have gone along the lines of …

You (beer in hand): “Yeah, I’ve seen that guy play. He’s a natural-born goal scorer. He’ll fit right in and have a great first year”

Friend: “I doubt it. He might have a lot of speed but he’s got two left feet. He’ll have a horrible first year.”

You: “No way! He’s going to surprise everyone. He’s really good.”

Friend: “You’re crazy.”

. . . and then something magical happens, something that stops the banter and turns the conversation . . .

One of you says, “I’ll bet you ten that you’re wrong.”

Now, you both must work together to agree on objective and verifiable proof of success – a definition of “a great first year.”

If you have ever been through this kind of bar chat, then you know exactly how to get to  “the right metrics.”

It’s crafting a description of success that is so clear, you and a friend could bet on it. It’s that simple. Is it Non-bet-able or is it Bet-able?

Here are some in our opinion (non-bet-able) strategic goals…

  • We’re going to build a culture of innovation
  • We’ll become more energy conscious.
  • Raise public awareness of our organisation.

and some bet-able alternatives:

  • We’re going to reduce worker days lost due to injuries on or off the job by 50% (from X to Y) in 12 months from now.
  • Achieve at least a 20% month-to-month reduction in kilowatt hours per square meter of building space over previous 12 months.
  • In this calendar year, there will be at least 10 articles that mention our name in the Financial Times and/or the Independent.

Please Go Ahead and Argue.
Notice that you might not agree with all our bet-able alternatives. That’s OK .

We’d suggest it’s better to argue over the proposed definition of success before we start spending time and money to achieve it!

So the next time you make a grand declaration of direction …

(say, “We’re going to be an employer of choice!” or, “We’re going to provide humanitarian assistance,” or “I’m going to start being a better parent,”)

Ask yourself how you would define success if someone wanted to bet twenty pounds against you achieving your objective.

If your declaration passes the “bettable ” test, then you’re on track. The people paying for the result will know what they’re getting;

The people doing the work will have clear direction; and you will have the satisfaction of knowing – without question – whether you’re successful.

 

 

 

Business Skills: Find your strengths and use them to achieve your goals

I’d like to recommend “Strengthsfinders”  the book, questionnaire / report.
It’s a great tool to help you discover the natural talents you have .
You can leverage those strengths to develop stronger relationships and business opportunities with clients.

You don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not or do things that feel wrong to you in the process. When it comes to business development, one size or style doesn’t fit all.

In my early career I had 2 role models for client development and they couldn’t have been more different.

The first, whom I will call Tom, worked his way up to be a rainmaker through an engineering career. He played golf, he cared deeply about people and knew everything about his client’s background and personal lives. He was a big “teddy bear” who projected a laid back attitude. You’d often find him feet propped up on his desk. He was big on detail but casual in his appearance. His clients tended to be much like him, people with engineering backgrounds and men and women who loved golf. People who were both concerned with getting the deal done and wanted the details but also needed to socialise and have fun.

Mike on the other hand dressed meticulously, had attended a prestigious university and he maintained a very business-like, professorial, courteous, somewhat stiff demeanor with his clients. He never lost his cool. He got many referrals from his existing clients. His clients were primarily large companies who valued his care and business-like demeanor.

What did Mike and Tom have in common, in addition to being excellent rainmakers?

Each one knew his natural talents and strengths and used those to develop clients.
They were who they were and most definitely did not try to be someone else.

“Strengthsfinders”  
is a great assessment tool and it will help you understand what your talents and strengths are.

Many of the people we coach have used Strengthsfinder as part of their work with us. It’s inexpensive and quick to do

They tell me they like it because it is positive in nature and it focuses on what they can do rather than on weakness and things they cannot do.

Ready to give it a try?

Here a few tips for using the Strengthsfinder:

1. You will need a code to take the online Strengthsfinder assessement.
To get the code, buy Strengthsfinder 2.0 at any major bookseller or buy an ebook version if you want to get started right away.

2. Block out about 30 minutes to take the assessment.

3. Answer truthfully. There are no right or wrong answers.

4. You’ll get a downloadable PDF report that tells you your top five talent themes and ideas for action. Take time to read it and answer the questions.

5. If your aim is to use the assessment for business development ideas, look at the ideas for action contained in the PDF report.

Ask how each idea might be applied to building client relationships and business. Some will fit and others will not.
You only need to find a few to make the effort worthwhile. Let us know how you get on with these ideas info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk The Rainmakers

Business Skills Training: 4 Tips for spending your training budget wisely

Well researched data suggests that people forget around 75 per cent of the knowledge and skills imparted to them on a single event training course.

What are some “Easy it to implement” actions that you can take to get a return on the investment from spending on people training and development?

Here are a few tried and tested tips that’ll help you get the best from your budget…

1. Be clear on your desired outcomes.
Ask yourself “What is it that I really require that the people be able to do once they have attended the Business Skills training course?”
If you are clear on what a good outcome will be then a training and development company can put forward suggestions and ideas as to how best  to accomplish that outcome.
There may be an argument that a combination of pre-reading, lecturing, workshops with colleagues and follow-on coaching with mentoring from their manager may be a better option than only an isolated training course.

2.  Any training and a development has a clear and established link to the business plan and that this is explained prior to the person attending any activities.
This ensures that the attendee knows how important this is to the business and focuses their attention on learning what they need to ensure success for them and the business.

3. A third tip that Rob would give to businesses planning people development activities would be to time the activity to perfection so that the people on exiting from their activity go straight into using those newly-found skills in their workplace.

4.  On returning to work the attendees should look forward to being coached and further developed by the people who are managing them in the workplace.
The managers themselves clearly need to understand how to coach and develop business skills and positively encourage performance from the people returning to work.

Once the outcome is clear, linked to the business plan and a business need. Once we know that we have the correct timing in place and the are coaches ready…

Then we can turn our attention to the actual development activities. In our experience it is important to the make the learner curious about the topic.

Any training that Rainmaker Coaching deliver is specifically tuned to be very applicable and based on your business rather than on a theoretical businesses.

If all of this is in place then a client can rest assured that their investment in people is being well spent and look forward to their people and their business growing as a result.

If you want our help in any of this email info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

Business Skills Training: How to deal with the Wooly Training requirement

How to deal with the Wooly Training requirement?

You know the sort of thing …

The Line manager  arrives at your desk and begins an interrogation of the HR team on what sort of Business Skills Training they can find for so and so who is clearly deficient in such and such skills.    With a little gentle questioning the Learning and Development team begin to realise that this may be a problem that just could be bigger than a training issue. How do you deal with it?

Well we’ve all probably tried to TELL  the manager that.
This has been followed by a diatribe about fee earning and non fee earning positions or being reminded of the “Golden Rules” (They who have the gold make the rules).
We may even have tried to SELL the manager a different idea and come up against a very fine mesh of the manager’s critical filter.
So that probably won’t work either.

However , have no fear, an idea from a famous educator Charles Jennings just might…

Let’s invite the manager and as many others from the team that is involved with the issue into a room with a flip chart to discuss Business Skills Training.
Drop a divided pack of sticky notes and box of big pens on a table.
After discussing the issue in some detail, ask them each to write on the stickies, in their own words all of it’s many and varied aspects.
Give the group enough time to write up lots and lots of stickies.
When the last one is written and on the table in front of it’s owner …
Then tell them that each sticky can only fall into one of four possible categories.

The 4 categories are
1. Knowledge of the person / people

2.  Skills of the person / people

3.  Motivation  (including Rewards? Recognition?  Expectation to perform in role?)

4.  Environment (Supporting? Empowering? Opportunities to perform / fail / retry? )

Now draw up an empty 2 x 2 grid on the whiteboard with Knowledge and Skills in top left  and top right  and Motivation and Environment in bottom left and right:

Now sort the stickies into the four categories.
First read outwhatever it says on the first sticky note.
Invite group members to comment, reach concensus and decide. Place the sticky note in the corrrect place on the grid.
Eventually the grid fills up. Even the most obtuse manager should get the point by now.

Yes, the order processing team are taking too long to enter details on the system.
However that’s not because they can’t use the system (skills) it’s because the network connection slows them down.
They’d rather enter the information in batches at the end of the day (environment).

Yes, the tele sales team are not productive.
However  not because they don’t know how to sell they just end up dealing with all the problems no-one else wants to deal with.
They’re just disengaged after years of sifting through someone else’s mess (motivation).

You will quickly see that it is the process of discussion that gets people to this point, which means having enough of the right people in the room, in an environment that will support a respectful discussion.

When all the stickies are up, the person leading the discussion takes a big pen and draws a big bold line across the grid:

You as the leader of this learning and development exercise then get a chance to say the following helpful phrase …
” I can can help with anything or any issues that are above the line,”.
You can then continue and say. “Knowledge and Skills is what we can source the training to help improve.

However if there’s something wrong with the working environment, or your employees’ motivation, then I feel I need to ask you to put that right first or at least in parallel with me so that when the person returns from the training these particular rocks have been removed off this particular runway.”

The “Wooly” training requirement should be wooly no more.

If you need any help with Knowledge, Skills or even help to get motivation into your environment,  then you know you can always call 0845 652 1955 or email info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

 

Workshop Facilitation: 3 Ideas to link Execution to Strategy Planning

Some people cringe when they hear that they are going on a strategic planning workshop.

An “Away-Day” brings shivers down their spines.
They have been to the off-sites with bright ideas, they’ve seen the slick “final plan” and then they’ve seen . . . nothing.
Nothing seems to be happening.
Nothing is changing and they begin to realise that it’s happened again:

Strategy execution wasn’t part of the plan.
Yet again our leadership team wasn’t serious.

If you are a leader AND you want to be serious AND you want strategy execution to be part of the plan here are our three ideas to work your plan and make your plan work.

1. A steady accountability drumbeat.
You may be a great communicator and can SELL you plan to others but in our experience your plan will fail if you don’t build in regular rigourous reviews (Our version of the 3Rs!)  and also know as an accountability cycle.

Each member of the leadership team must regularly (say, monthly) stand in front of boss and peers and report progress on his or her piece of the strategic plan.

  • The presentation should simply cover the following :
  • This is the measurable impact I committed to achieve last time I stood here.
  •  Here is the progress we’ve made
  • Here are a couple of rocks on my runway I could do with some help to remove
  • These are any changes I’d suggest to our direction and why
  • See you next month!

This is a great conversation, and it will make everyone realise, “Oh Dear,  That stuff we came up with in this plan is actually my day job!”
Also, these conversations create self-correction and improvement in the strategic plan.
That means that your strategic plan doesn’t have to start out perfect;
you can settle for the 60/40 solution and just get going!
A regular, rigourous review will help the organisation stay focused.
It also keeps leaders aligned with each other and knowing that they are acting as a team.
If you work with Rainmaker and use our Workshop Facilitation services your strategic plan will spell out what each team member is to accomplish.
Otherwise accountability is impossible.

2. Manage your strategic initiatives as projects.

Strategic plans almost always name something new that has to be accomplished.
Strategic “initiatives,” have a beginning, middle, and end – and an outcome.
In other words they’re projects to be managed.
Now you can tap into the field of project management.”
Key points.

  •  Put ONE person in charge of the project.  There’s a reason ships don’t have two captains.
  • Establish a clear goal, a clear timeframe, and a budget.      SMART objectives anyone?
  • Progress reports need to be couched relative to  (a) work accomplished vs. schedule  (b) work accomplished vs. budget. Make sure you get both.

3. Get your organisations innovation switched on.
Many organizations’ plans identify gaps between where they are and where they want to be – and they cite “innovation” as the way to close that gap.

An Idea for you to  encourage innovation

  • Encourage what we call constructive failure.
    Use this formula: Non-fatal failure + learning = discovery. You need discovery for innovation, and the more discovery the better.
    Failure + blame (excuses) = uh, FAILURE.      When you see someone being blamed for failure at least act annoyed
  • Reward innovative solutions, reward learning from failure
  • Reward people for reaching across boundaries to create solutions.
  • Contests work for a while (so use them)
  • Demonstrating that you take “different thinking” seriously – whether or not you use it – always works.We hope this helps those of you who are serious about your strategic planning.

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