Tag Archives: facilitation

How to set direction when the leader is not sure where to head next

Leaders set direction, align resources, and motivate action as suggested by the panels in Figure 1.  Another way to put it is that a leader develops, holds, nurtures, communicates, and drives to achieve a vision.

Figure 1: A leader sets direction, aligns resources, and motivates action.
Figure 1: A leader sets direction, aligns resources, and motivates action.

As in Figure 2, it helps to think of the leader holding a map, like Harry Potter’s Marauder’s map that is always changing, making sense of it, and navigating the course with those led looking on over the shoulders. The best leaders constantly check with their top team to confirm that they are headed toward the same goals, in the same way, and for the same reasons.

Figure 2: A leader develops, holds, nurtures, communicates, and drives to achieve a vision.

Top leaders are also always open to input from their core team to tweak goals and plans along the way. Clarity starts with the leader.  If the leader is not clear then no one else can be clear.  A leader either: Continue reading How to set direction when the leader is not sure where to head next

How to test for and secure top team alignment on key matters to improve growth and performance.

Get AlignedLeadership teams need to Get Clear about many things, including:

Leaders often struggle to reach a good, a better, or even a best solution to countless such questions. More important than the right answer, though, is all team members having the same answer.

Once all team members are aligned on one answer, even a not very good one, on any matter, odds are that performance will improve because everyone pulls in the same direction. The result is a multiplier effect suggested by the three arrows forming a much larger fourth arrow in the above graphic . Continue reading How to test for and secure top team alignment on key matters to improve growth and performance.

Introducing Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World as an interactive digital workbook.

Many intelliven.com blog posts are based on the slides and lecture notes from a masters class in Organization Development called Organization Analysis and Strategy offered at American University and taught by Peter DiGiammarino.  These posts and other material from class, including:

  • Work problems,
  • Templates,
  • Graphics,
  • Slide shows, and
  • Assessments

are available  from Amazon as a softcover workbook or from iTunes as an iBook titled Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World.

Selected intelliven.com blog content is now available as a workbook from Amazon or as an iBook from iTunes.

Whether one wants to change personal habits, implement a new information system, improve a business process, get team members to work together, increase a community’s appreciation for diversity, or even to topple a monarchy, taking seven actions driven by seven disarmingly simple truths will individually and collectively help achieve the goal.

Manage to Lead presents a framework to describe and assess any organization. It also provides a structured approach to plan and implement next steps for an organization as it strives for long-term growth and performance.

Readers are invited to select a familiar organization on which to apply the tools and templates introduced throughout the workbook. Exercises in each chapter produce essential elements for the organization’s annual strategic plan and lay the groundwork for implementing that plan.

Readers can package the key elements from Organization Exercises to form a strategic plan that communicates how the organization sees itself and where it is headed. At the end of the year leaders can compare actual results with what was described in the strategic plan to study what happened, why what happened was different than plan, what is to be learned from that, and what to do differently going forward as a result.

Repeat the process over several years and compare actual to planned results year-to-year to see the organization mature, perform, and grow to its full potential.

How to Run a Great Strategic Initiatives Offsite Work Session

changeMany organizations embrace the need for their leaders to convene offsite, for a day or two, in order to advance their ability to achieve a desired future state and to improve group performance by crystallizing and preparing to launch one or more Strategic Initiative.  The best organizations know that to achieve optimum results such a session is best hosted by a trained outside facilitator and that pre-meeting data collection and preparation are key to success.

What follows is a POAD that has been used hundreds of times Continue reading How to Run a Great Strategic Initiatives Offsite Work Session

How to use meeting ground rules to shape behavior and improve performance.

High-performing organizations act intentionally. There are meeting ground rules because meetings are an ideal forum in which to both articulate and model target behavior.  Meeting Owners (see: How to Run a Great Meeting/) on their own, with their core leadership team (see: How to Form a Core Leadership Group), and with help from a trained facilitator if available, develop three to six ground-rules to review with attendees.

Each rule is consistent with how the leader wants people to behave in meetings and in general.  When introduced for the first time, walk through each rule and encourage discussion to be sure it and the reason for it, are clear and to get the group’s buy-in.  Also to encourage clarity and buy-in, adjust the rule as needed in response to input from the group. Continue reading How to use meeting ground rules to shape behavior and improve performance.