How do you as a leader deliver on strategy? How do you help your most valuable resource, your people, to deliver the best results and get things done to the best of both their individual and collective ability? How many times do high potential teams fail to deliver the great results, where do teams get stuck? What are the top tips to help the shift towards greatness? How can you pool everyone’s skills, knowledge, potential and expertise for the best results?
3 strategic ways to get the most out of your talent so they execute on strategy:
- Boost coaching and effective delegation for optimal performance
- Stimulate action learning for accountability and execution
- Embed mentoring to short-cut experience and build a learning culture
Boost coaching and effective delegation for optimal performance
Are the right people doing the right jobs? Are they getting things done through effective delegation and coaching skills?
How many times have you or someone in one of your teams found themselves “doing the doing”, and in fact “doing even more of the doing” as the role gets bigger or more senior?! This can lead to burn out, ineffective and demotivating work, and a sense of frustration in the teams, both the direct reports but also for the leader.
Delegation and coaching skills need to work hand-in-hand to ensure execution of strategy.
Starting with delegation – The first step is to identify what is the best use of your time, skills, experience and knowledge to deliver on the results needed for your business or team. Understanding the value you can add, your strengths and where you are energised, can help you focus on what you “need” to be focusing on… distinguishing between the important and the urgent, between what you like or feel comfortable doing and the work that will stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone, and potentially create better more stretch results.
The second is to know your team and/or the resources you have access to. Consider the existing strengths and the potential gaps, and the stretch opportunities in skills, capabilities, knowledge and experience. Know what motivates people, what their ambitions are, what stretch assignments and responsibilities are they ready for.
The third step is to scope out, with clarity and honesty, what work you are currently doing that you “shouldn’t” to re-balance the work and responsibilities to maximise the potential of all the team, allowing you to also step up to the more strategic leading you need to be focused on. The challenge is to identify the right stretch opportunities for the various team members. Longer term this could also lead to a restructure and realignment of goals.
The fourth step is to prepare to resource differently, to reconsider who does what and ensure that any transition of work is smooth , staged or with the right level of support. Encourage people to step-up by handing over some aspects of your work, (a specific project, your client/customer relationships, that Board meeting that you can’t make) when you are on vacation, or have time out of work. These transition skills are the foundation of effective delegation – it is extending the idea of handing over the “task” to also including the responsibility for delivering the result and even to better the results. This needs trust – trust that the work can be done to the same standard or better than you could have achieved. Trust is based on understanding and acknowledging the strengths, the development and stretch areas for the individual, and what level of support and oversight you both feel appropriate.
Once delegation strategies are clear, coaching skills are crucial. You need to spend the time upfront to offer support, and the best way to delegate is through using coaching skills, and coaching conversations. Having VITAL coaching conversations allows for the effective transfer of accountability and builds confidence. Unlike the transfer of the task, coaching helps promote real and sustained ability to take on more challenges with confidence and to create an environment of continuous learning and effective feedback and support.
Please watch our video on coaching skills
2. Stimulate Action Learning for accountability, execution and a continuous learning culture
At the top of the house the strategic intent and vision is clear and exciting, it is communicated down and everyone buys into it, but the first potential challenge tends to show up when the managers need to take that strategy and move to execution- actually getting things done, and in today’s world of work that usually means with speed.
Skilling leaders and HR professionals to facilitate effective action learning is a powerful way to ensure things get done – strategy execution. At the same time action learning creates collective accountability and buy-in to where the company needs to go, and what it needs to deliver, what challenges need to be overcome, as well as encouraging diversity and innovative thinking.
For biggest impact, the action learning model is used to bring talent with diverse skills and experience together from different teams or parts of the company into a focused group to tackle the “what” needs to be done and the “how” to get it done questions. Action learning groups are very conducive to agile working, bringing people together and harnessing peer co-development, focusing a group of people on a specific work opportunity or challenge. In the true sense of the action learning model, it is also a simple and effective way to create continuous learning and growth opportunities for all the participants, encouraging collegiate and collaborative peer networks, allowing the organisation to capitalise on its greatest asset; bringing the resource across different teams to peer share and coach. The nature of the action learning framework encourages a climate of coaching, feedback, challenge and innovative thinking at the same time as creating team accountability to get results.
Watch this video on action learning
3. Embed Mentoring to short cut “experience” and build a learning culture – at the same time as keeping the workforce up to date with new perspectives
Many companies fail to execute their strategies at speed, because they are failing to leverage the full skills, talent and experience of their employees. Mentoring enables learning, knowledge and experience to be shared and embedded throughout an organisation. This can be simple and time-efficient when people understand mentoring best practise. Mentoring harnesses the benefits of an inclusive, multi -generational workforce.
Millennials and Generation xyz integrating into organisations with different expectations, motivators, and needs from their world of work, with managers needing to adapt, manage and lead more relevantly for this group. With all the technology savviness, agility, thirst for learning and for moving on and upwards the struggle is how to convey the learning and knowledge that can only come from hard won, and hard worked for, experience. Mentoring programmes have been hugely successful in helping the more early in career and identified high potential talent to connect and get support from “senior” leaders in an organisation, where they can get practical support and advice. Maximising the concept of mentoring being a mutually beneficial relationship has seen the surge in reverse mentoring programmes, where there is a clearer focus on senior leaders also being given the opportunity of “keeping up to date” and more importantly taking the knowledge, skills and perspectives from the new workforce into their own work. Certainly a win-win for the whole organisation, but also significantly recognising that the optimum value comes from diversity, learning from every conversation and opportunity; learning and sharing knowledge and experience is key. Coaching and Mentoring skills training can greatly impact how effective this can be in your company, by creating the framework and the language to harness everyone’s true talent.
Please contact us on +44 (0)1628 488990 if we can help you get the most out of your talent.