Thursday, December 13, 2012

Initial conversations

A good friend is moving to a substantially new role in the coming year. His background is mainly in PR (he is terrific with people) and he is about to become the CEO of a service organisation. His PR capabilities will be invaluable but how will he start to bring things together -  the organisation is in need of some updating and he will need to make sense of the situation asap.

 My recommendation is to start a conversation with staff  that will be ongoing. It could be based on a simple but valid job description
  1. Know what is happening
  2. Work with others to improve what is happening
  3. Make it easier for the next person to do well
Using this framework, my friend will begin with information 1:1 conversations along the lines of
  • How clear are you about what is happening? (And how can we improve that?)
  • How do you work with others to improve what is happening? (Examples? And how can we extend that?)
  • How do/could others make it easier for you to do really well?
  • How do/could you make it easier for others to do really well?
Effective systems as well as individual and team performance rely on the 3 key elements of the job description (above). Improved systems can then emerge easily, naturally and quite quickly from such conversations because they are about real-life actions and solutions. Used continuously they also form a sound basis for integrating continuous improvement into the culture of the organisation.