117 Make Progress With the Progress Canvas…

Yes! And Blog #117 Help your team progress with the Progress Canvas… “I never cry about what I don’t have. I’m always positive. I am happy with the team I have and I am confident that we can do well.”  Fabio Capello, former England football coach and optimist On the TV back in 2010, pundits were discussing what had to be done to enable England to win the World Cup, England having gone out in the second round (Round of Sixteen), losing to Germany 4 – 1. Eight years later, having achieved the semi finals, it seems England have made  progress. How might England have achieved that progress? In my work, I use a tool called the Progress Canvas with teams. This is based on one known as the Strategy Canvas (see here for original article). The Progress Canvas provides a simple way for teams to describe the future they want, make progress towards it and monitor how they are doing. You use the tool in steps: Step 1: Detail a preferred future by asking, “What would we, our customers and other stakeholders notice when we are successful?” I like to have teams draw a picture and then document  this, but there are many alternatives. Step 2: Identify the five to six areas your customers / stakeholders would say you must focus  on to achieve success: Discuss if these focus areas really are critical to success and whether collectively they will enable you to achieve success Avoid having more than 5 – 6 focus areas, otherwise they are unlikely to be focus areas. Step 3: On a scale of 1...

96 Facilitate people to communicate effectively

YES! AND…Blog 96 “Whatever people say or do, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo How might you help people communicate more positively? On a course,  my colleague, Caroline, had asked people to volunteer to tell the group their favourite “moan”.  Jason, a dog owner, regaled us with his moan about irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs poop on the pavement, fail to keep them under control and risk them attacking other dogs. Fast forward two days. Out riding my bike on the cycle track around the local lake, I crossed over a small bridge, started up the hill and wham! A bundle of black and white furry Collie came hurtling towards me, barking furiously, with its owner chasing it. Dogs have chased and barked at me before on my bike and I have had no issue, usually stopping to pet them. However, before I could stop, this delightful Collie decided to bite my calf. Perhaps the Collie’s a vegetarian and in my fluorescent yellow jacket and black shorts I resembled a banana; whatever the cause, I managed to fend it off until the owner controlled it. She voiced an apology and I rode off, smiling at the irony of being bitten after hearing Jason’s story. Caroline had asked people to “moan” because she wanted to demonstrate a technique called Positive Intent, which is designed to help people avoid being dragged in to a negative discussion. This technique is based on a presupposition from Neuro Linguistic Programming that every behaviour...

Creative Leaders – Quickly Improve Team Performance [Yes! And Blog 124]

“Anyone got a Swiss Army Knife?”  Construction worker in a TV programme   This facilitator’s scaling tool can help your team improve performance very quickly…   I am on the way to the airport, stuck in traffic jams in snowy weather. To complete my joy, I have just received a text telling me that my flight home is cancelled and the next flight is in seven hours. So I thought I would do something enjoyable and write the blog in the back of the cab. Recently, I ran a facilitation master class, something I have run successfully many times for MBA students. I go into this class without a plan and have attendees write on Post It notes what they want to know about facilitation. I have two hours to provide and demonstrate all the answers. On this occasion, an attendee wrote that he wanted a multi purpose tool to help him facilitate meetings quickly. This article shares with you the tool I provided to the students. It is based on “Scaling”, a tool from Solutions Focus, a methodology I use a lot. To make it more real for you, imagine you are a creative leader working with a team (I used “facilitation” as the class topic).  Here are the steps that I put together on the spot from my experience: Ask them to consider what would be happening if they were performing really badly, the worst team in the organisation, world, wherever. Assign that description as “1” on a scale. Have them describe the benefits if they were performing brilliantly as a team.  Assign that description a “10”....

133 Encourage Action

Yes! And… # 133 How do you  innovate and maintain the operation? Use Sprint Actions “Great acts are made up of small deeds” – Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher Are your people struggling to effect change and run the operation? Some of you may be the type of person to pull out a toolkit at first sight of a drawer knob dropping off or other domestic issue. To my discredit, I can always find something more interesting to do and many jobs build up before begrudgingly, I complete them. However, when our bathroom door hinge recently developed a very high-pitched squeal that grated on the teeth, I lubricated it quickly with WD40. It was easy and the WD40 was handily under the kitchen sink (that had a knob on the door). I wish I could write an article about a tool that cures management issues as easily as WD40 cures many household issues, however, the squeaky door hinge provides a good analogy. When a management team has a “to do” list of more pressing things to do, it takes a very squeaky issue to replace an action on the list. However, I am sure most of you have sat in meetings and created a large list of additional actions to add to the already full “to do” list. Many people are enthusiastic and accept the actions; others are pressured to take them. It is no surprise though that people often fail to take actions because the issue is not squeaky enough. This is especially the case when new actions are about creating change and the existing actions are dealing with operational issues...

Make Innovating Simpler [Yes And Blog 150]

“As innovation becomes a management discipline there is a danger that it is seen as the end, rather than the means” John Brooker  Want to make innovating simple again? I was out riding my bike recently when I found I could not use any gear above number eight, so instead of twenty-four gears through three front cogs, I had just eight gears on one. I couldn’t fix it myself and didn’t have time to take it to the repairers so carried on using it. I am no Bradley Wiggins (Olympic cycling gold medallist and winner of  the Tour de France) and after a couple of rides, I noticed that the lack of gears was not causing me much of a problem, apart from going down steep hills where I could not pick up as much speed. After noticing that, I compared the enforced simplicity of my gearing with how complex innovation seems to have become. I appreciate there are some organisations that need more sophisticated approaches, just like the Tour de France needs more complex bikes. I am also sure most organisations could cope with a simpler approach. In fact, many could cope with just three “innovation gears” if they had the nerve to get on the “bike”. So In the spirit of keeping it simple, here is my three gear approach to help your people innovate. The three gears are, Climate, Model and Tools. Create and nurture the right climate to encourage collaboration When you wish people to be more collaborative and creative you need to create a macro-climate within the organisation and a micro-climate within meetings. Here...