Are We Where We Want to Be?
Before we implement initiatives or changes, it can be useful to engage in a process to clearly define the need for improvement or the problem to be solved. These questions and tips can be used by individuals or teams to question their past and future improvement efforts and problems to set themselves up for success.
How Do Organizations Succeed Through Difficult Times?
Resilient organizations are able to improve faster because they place emphasis on and build disciplined routines around people, service, and alignment. To cultivate a culture of resilience leaders align people to goals, take time to routinely reflect, and communicate transparently with all stakeholders.
Improve Meetings with Data
Use a meeting evaluation to inform improvement and ensure effective use of time. Whether a formal evaluation form or a quick discussion at the end of your time together, collecting participant feedback communicates commitment to excellence and efficiency.
The Right Way to Respond During a Crisis
If you're lucky, you haven't had to respond to a crisis on behalf of your organization...yet. The truth is, a good crisis response happens long before catastrophe strikes. Analyze the steps Southwest Airlines took to recover from one of the worst crises of 2018 with its reputation still intact.
How much is too much?
Effective communication is an obstacle all organizations face. To be successful, organizations have to communicate clearly and often with their employees, customers, and the surrounding community. How can an organization know how much communication it is sending and if that communication is being understood the way it’s intended to?
Less is More
After leaders spend time developing strategic plans for the organization, they connect with their teams about what actions matter the most. Using a narrow focus, leaders align the organization's larger goals to individual quarterly goals, and conduct regular progress monitoring to maximize results.
Only You Can Stop It
We will have days when we face challenges, obstacles, and we may even choose to feel like the world is against us or we don't control what's happening to us. Facing up and down moments in our career is inevitable. How you choose to deal with those moments will affect your relationships, productivity, and future opportunities.
What builds accountability?
Creating a rhythm of accountability and targeted achievement requires a planned process. In this clip, award winning leader, JoAnn Sternke, explains how using a scorecard to focus the team is the first step in prioritizing the right actions. For best results, she tells us to keep those priorities front and center during our weekly meetings.
How do I know what to measure?
Checking in and monitoring each measure of success validates the use of the right measures and keeps us focused on what it takes to reach each goal. This exercise guides teams in reviewing measures that matter and discussing adjustments needed to experience success.
How do I know when to push?
Knowing when to push people or the organization forward, and when to hold back while still getting forward movement, is an important part of the art and science of leadership. Too much push can shut people down. Too little push will not create enough action to achieve the goal.
How to know what really needs fixing
Going down the improvement road is hard work. In this video, Superintendent Greg Gibson tells us how his time on a ranch in Texas helped him develop a systems perspective. He transferred this learning to leading his team and is willing to ask, "Does that kill the good stuff, too?"
How do I know what matters?
As leaders, we are in a unique position to direct what is important in the organization and therefore what to measure. We want to work in organizations with clear goals and the strategies for success are equally clear. The performance level of an organization can be verified by reviewing the key metrics.
Plan to improve
The purpose of an Improvement Action Plan is to map the prioritized actions after gaining input from our teams. The plan is aligned to the organization's overall strategic priorities and contains details about short-term actions to achieve annual goals. Use this template to draft and share your Improvement Action Plan.
Breaking down the big picture
When employees know how to define organizational success and how they fit into the big picture, they become more engaged in helping the organization achieve success. This process begins with defining outcomes and metrics at the organization level, which are then reflected in 90 day action plans.
Keep track of the good stuff.
Starting a meeting with a Manage Up and other wins is great way to build a positive culture. What if you can't remember if you already recognized the person at the last meeting? The Manage Up/Reward & Recognition Tracking Form helps leaders keep up with who is being recognized on the team and the good work being done.
Are you fully invested?
High performing organizations want to fill their employee ranks with owners and effective leaders seek to recruit employees who exhibit ownership, while at the same time strategically developing ownership in current employees. Fortunately, leaders can find, hire, and retain owners within their organizational ranks.