Recession Proofing Part 3 - Your Success PathwayJan 16, 2023
In the first 2 parts of this series, we have explored the importance of an opportunity mindset, how people are your greatest asset, and then what and how to assess to get the best information and insights.
Now it is time to focus on making your best decisions and preparing (equipping) people. Armed with good data and insight into which areas of your team/organization can bring the most value in preparing for whatever comes next, we can turn our focus to:
- Making good decisions on what is important and urgent.
- Deciding on the best path forward in each area.
- Creating the unique Success Pathway that is right for you and your people.
Making your best decisions
I have shared in the past the decision making process. It is important to understand how our brains work so we can make our best decisions. Here is an excerpt from a previous blog:
When you think of decision making, it is a function of what is going on in your brain. When a thought comes into our brain, we immediately attach meaning to that thought. From both of these, emotions are generated that drive our decision making process. Here is where it gets tricky. When we attach meaning to the thought, so many different things can happen:
- Our personal bias can generate emotions that are not helpful to our decision making.
- Our brain may "mis-categorize" the meaning which leads to decisions that are less than our best.
- Our brains like to "fill in the blanks". What does that mean? That our brain tends to make up a story where there is a gap in factual information.
- We may have emotions that are triggered which cause us to make decisions out of reaction mode instead of a more thoughtful mode.
- Our brain has an automatic defense mode which is triggered anytime we feel we are threatened. You may know this as fight, flight, or freeze.
So, you can see that decision making has a lot of moving parts.
How are you dealing with the emotional drivers that are embedded in your decision making? If you recognize them and find a way to navigate those, you will likely make better decisions for better outcomes. If you are struggling with these, then they can create a real drain on your time, focus, and energy.
Why am I sharing that again? Because when you start to make decisions that will lead to plans and resources being spent, there is a lot at stake. The better we understand our decision making process, the better decisions we will make.
Decisions into action
Having identified the areas in your team/organization that we want to change/impact/improve, we can now start to put those into action.
If you have not done an assessment of these yet, here is a free assessment tool to get you started: EQFIT® People Challenges and Opportunities Assessment
Deciding on the best path forward is what we call creating a "Success Pathway". A Success Pathway is unique to the individual/team/organization. I have created a Success Pathway tool kit to help with planning and implementing this for individuals, teams, and organizations. I will use the Team Success Pathway as an example (these are included as downloads in our online courses):
Self-awareness. The team must be made aware of their role, the impact it has on others, and the resources available to them.
- How will you ensure that the team clearly understands these?
- This team’s role in the organization is ________________________________.
- The team’s effort impacts others by _________________________________.
- The team has these resources available ______________________.
Understand acceptable behavior and performance. What is the specific behavior and performance that is expected in the team?
- What will you say to the team that clarifies the specific performance/behavior standards for the role?
- Team performance must meet these standards ______________________.
- Acceptable behavior that aligns with our culture is ___________________.
Competencies needed. Be specific about what competencies are needed. Does this include specific certifications, professional designations, ongoing learning, and development?
- How will you create a pathway for the team to grow in their competencies? How will you ensure they understand the time frames for this growth?
- To be successful, this team must __________________________________.
- In (insert time frame) the team is expected to learn/grow in______________.
- By (insert time frame) this team should be able to _____________________.
Consequences. What are the specific consequences that are tied to performance/behavior? Consequences can be either rewarding or redirecting.
- What consequences (both reward and punitive) will you put in place to drive the team’s accountability and motivation?
- When you meet expectations, you will receive _______________________.
- If you fall short of expectations, then _______________________________.
- Consistently missing goals or expectations will lead to _________________.
Expectations. What specific and measurable goals/KPIs must be met by a certain time frame.
- What time bound goals will you attach to the team and how will those goals be measured (be specific)?
- Expectation/KPI 1:
- Expectation/KPI 2:
- Expectation/KPI 3:
- Expectation/KPI 4:
Schedule. Schedule regular coaching/review meetings to track progress, answer questions, provide support, and guide the team throughout the process.
- How will you support the team on their pathway to success through regularly scheduled coaching, support, and progress meetings?
- Every (insert time frame) we will meet to review ___________________.
- If you have questions, you will _________________________________.
- I will provide support and guidance by ___________________________.
Supervise. Actively supervise the team throughout the process. This includes an ongoing and consistent performance/progress evaluation process.
- How will you maintain accountability and a sense of importance and urgency throughout the process?
- Every (insert time frame) we will review team performance by _______.
- I will help you set goals and priorities by ________________________.
- If you are struggling with something you will _____________________.
© 2023 Goodner Strategic Consulting, LLC – All rights reserved
This is just one of the proprietary tools we have created to help our clients and our online course participants.
Preparing for what comes next
One of the most important decisions you will make is how much you are willing to invest in yourself and your people. I am not talking about "throwing dollars" at some training, or holding some after work social gatherings with your people. I am talking about a well designed plan to:
- Engage people in the changes/improvements that will make a positive difference.
- Aligning them around the right Success Pathway (the plan for moving forward and achieving success).
- Equipping everyone so they have the tools, skills, and resources they need.
- Sustaining success through an intentional and ongoing review and refinement process.
Equip to empower
Expecting to get more out of people without investing in them is like expecting your bank account to grow without making deposits. The more we can invest in equipping ourselves and others, the more return on that investment. How we invest is what will make the greatest impact. Here are 5 questions I use to decide if an investment in equipping someone is worth it:
- Is the individual willing to engage fully in the equipping process?
- What new skills will this effort develop?
- How will the equipping enhance performance, competencies, or capacity?
- Is the equipping in alignment with team and organizational goals?
- What actual value will the equipping bring and in what time frame?
This may seem like a lot to take in...and it probably is. However, if you are willing to invest some time and energy to go through this process, you will have accomplished what many teams and organizations have not...creating a well defined and measurable path to success for people.
Last thought. When people are thinking about an economic downturn, one of the first things on the chopping block is investing in people. Here is something to consider. People are the most impactful asset/resource in any organization. People will make the difference between thriving and just trying to survive. There is a direct correlation between how much you invest in people and how successful your organization will be. Equipping your people should be the last thing you consider cutting. They will be the ones carrying the load, collaborating, solving problems, serving customers, innovating, and supporting each other.
As you prepare for what comes next, remember that you are not alone. There are good ideas all around you. Engage and invest in yourself and your people. Become the resilient and agile team that is ready to take advantage of opportunities...no matter what comes next!
For more, check out our other resources:
Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected]
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