Skip to content
Jan 22 15

Getting Expectations Right

by The Authors
Getting Expectations Right

Effectively managing expectations is one of today’s greatest leadership challenges. Most large organizations have well-developed job descriptions, competency models, performance reviews, and learning programs intended to make sure people know what is expected of them; unfortunately, such tools and programs aren’t enough. The percentage of people in organizations who claim uncertainty or confusion about what is really expected of them is much too high. Consider how one successful company addresses the issue.

The Home Depot, the fastest growing retailer in business history to top $80 billion in sales, has revolutionized the home improvement industry by offering 35,000 different kinds of building materials, lawn and garden products, and related services that include free in-store clinics, design and decorating consultation, truck and tool rental, home delivery, free potting, and much more. What’s the key to their success? Store employees know exactly what’s expected of them. For example, as part of the company’s demanding 24-month Store Leadership Program, associates participate in over 250 hours of intense classroom learning, four different job rotations, and focused mentoring by company leaders. According to insiders: “You gain exposure to all facets of The Home Depot business—the store, functional areas, providing customer service, leading teams, solving critical business issues, and delivering on expectations.” At Home Depot associates rarely complain about expectations not being clearly defined or communicated.

On a scale from one to ten (ten being the highest), how would you rate the clarity of what’s expected of you in your organization? How would you rate the clarity of what you expect from your direct reports? When did you last sit down with your boss or one of your direct reports to fully clarify expectations? How intentional are they (or you) about delivering on Key Expectations? To learn more about how to effectively Form, Communicate, Align, and Inspect Key Expectations, join our Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Jan 15 15

Accelerate Learning & Development

by The Authors
Learning and Training

Clients often ask us how they can accelerate the training and learning of their people in order to close knowing-doing gaps better, faster, and cheaper. Clients that apply The 5 D’s Fast Training Model often discover a new source of competitive advantage; for example, one client in the software development business now claims accelerated training and learning as a core competence. So how do you do it?  Start by demonstrating exactly what you want your people to do. People learn best when someone shows them, rather than just tells them, how to do some­thing. Here are the “show, don’t tell” steps of The 5 D’s Fast Training Model that accelerate training, learning, and the closing of knowing-doing gaps:

1. Describe It.
2. Demonstrate It.
3. Do It.
4. Debrief It.
5. Do It Again, but better!

For example, let’s say you want to accelerate the training of one of your team leaders on how to better coach others when they’re not delivering the needed results. First, you describe how to do it by using an actual situation from the team leader’s work. Then you demonstrate how YOU do it by role-playing a conversation you’ve had with someone you’ve had to coach who wasn’t delivering the needed results. Next, you encourage the team leader to actually engage in a conversation similar to the one you suggested as soon as possible. Make sure to have the team leader report back on how it went so that you can provide apprecia­tive and constructive feedback to help this person do it even better next time. Finally, ask the team leader to continue applying what he or she’s learned, while you continue to monitor the team leader’s progress in coaching others. Repeat the cycle until the learning has turned into real competence.

This sort of modeling provides effective and accelerated on-the-job training that often cannot be delivered any other way. Model the behavior and skills you want the people in your Expectations Chain to learn and master. It works in even the most complex and technical work environments. To learn more about accelerating learning and development in your organization, we invite you to join the Accountability Community by visiting www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.

The 5 D’s, Expectations Chain, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Jan 8 15

Every Team Has a Culture

by The Authors
Team Culture

A team’s culture determines its results; however, the results a team wants to achieve should always determine its culture. Culture depends on results and results depend on culture. You can build a team culture around any set of desired results: customer satisfaction, sales growth, product innovation, technological excellence, ease of order fulfillment, best-in-class quality, talent development, exceptional analysis, and timely reporting, just to name a few. Once the target results are clear, you should move quickly to create a culture that produces the necessary experiences, beliefs, and actions to achieve those results.

So ask yourself this question: Is our team’s culture working for or against us? In other words, is our team’s culture facilitating or hindering our ability to achieve our team’s desired results? Answer the following questions to find out:

Is our current team culture unable to produce the results we’ve promised?
Will our current team culture have difficulty delivering the results we need in the future?
Are there ways of thinking and acting that our team members need to stop exhibiting in order to achieve the desired team results?
Are there ways of thinking and acting that our team members need to start demonstrating in order to achieve the desired team results?
Are the right experiences, beliefs, and actions being hindered or impeded by our current team culture?

Regardless of whether your team’s culture came about as a result of methodical effort or muddled default, if you answered “Yes” to three or more of the above questions, you need to begin shifting the way your team members think and act now, rather than later. Changing your team’s culture is not an option—it’s an imperative.

For more information about creating a team culture that facilitates rather than hinders your ability to achieve your desired results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community by visiting www.partnersinleadership.com, where you can review actual client case studies.

Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc. All other registered trademarks and trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.