A popular model for performance improvement is:
It appears to have first appeared in Leavitts “diamond model” from 1964 and states that you have to address all three if you expect any long-lasting results. We’ve been working with clients for a long time – almost all of which included our software as part of their plan to improve processes and performance. Based on that experience I can tell you that getting your hands around all three elements is daunting.
So start with People.
Why? Because when you get that right, the other two fall into place easier. Ignore it and it is very difficult to see long-lasting results that transcend your time as a leader.
Great! We’ll start with people!
Wait a minute. How exactly do you address People and what does that even mean?
Let’s keep it simple to say it means getting everyone dedicated and aligned to the improvement effort. Easy, right? Don’t worry, all you need to do is to get your people to think differently, behave differently, truly work together, give discretionary effort, and push past their fears. Right.
If you’ve been trying to do that for a while with mixed results, the problem might be with your own thinking. It may be time to take on a different mindset.
Let me give you two ideas:
- Focus your time on problems not symptoms. If you are a professional services group and people are not adopting a new process, that is a symptom. It’s not the real problem. Why are they not adopting it? What is under the surface? What are they thinking? What is motivating their behaviors. Focus your energy here.
- Co-create instead of seeking buy-in. Most of us develop a process and then seek buy-in from our team to adopt it. Michael Stallard in his book “Connection Culture” describes shifting your mindset to co-creation. How can you co-create a solution with your team? That doesn’t necessarily mean co-create the desired result – but the solution.
These two fundamental shifts in thinking are excellent starting points to address the People side of the equation.
Note: Contact us to learn about our new Interactive Case Study process. Our Interactive Case Study process is an evidence-based problem-solving process to help your people discover what’s wrong and collaboratively produce data-driven solutions.