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Talent and Performance Development
Making sense of performance and talent development systems to create & sustain high performance in organizations. For the BEST of the BEST curated news in performance, change, agile learning, innovation, motivation, social media and careers, SUBSCRIBE to Reveln.com/Tools/
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Flirting & Play: The Most Productive Way to Develop as a Leader | HBR

Flirting & Play: The Most Productive Way to Develop as a Leader | HBR | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Think of [leadership] self-improvement as play, not work."

    

One of the biggest reasons we don’t stretch beyond our current selves is that we are afraid to suffer a hit to our performance. A playful posture might help John, [the case study shared] feel less defensive about his old identity [as if] he’s just practicing his bad swing.

______________________
   
 “people tend to flirt only with serious things — madness, disaster, other people.”

   

_____________________

 

     

Play generates variety not consistency, it allows our “shadow,” as Carl Jung called the unexpressed facets of our nature, fuller expression. John might, for example, sign up for some new projects and extracurricular activities, each a setting in which he’s free to rehearse behaviors that deviate from what people have come to expect of him. He’s not being mercurial; he’s just experimenting.

    

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips once said, “people tend to flirt only with serious things — madness, disaster, other people.” Flirting with your self is a serious endeavor because who we might become is not knowable or predictable at the outset. That’s why it’s as inherently dangerous as it is necessary for growth.


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This brilliant, researched post highlights the dramatic change from the straight, and therefore narrow view of performance, vs. play to

  • 1) "borrow from different sources" creatively, to 
  • 2) be in a learning orientation, and 
  • 3) "generate variety." 

     

In a VUCA world, full of complexity and ambiguity - this can take the edge off the terror of perfect performance, an unrealistic goal in many business situations far beyond performing live on the stage in the arts, but not unlike the "improv" where audience reaction is the immediate feedback system to help gauge success.. ~ Deb

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Develop your Talent, Sponsor a Workshop during International Coaching Week in May

Develop your Talent, Sponsor a Workshop during International Coaching Week in May | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Experience timely, current workshop topics  during International Coaching Week ~  May 19-25, 2014  - sponsored by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Coach Café Ann Arbor is offering to selected local leaders pro-bono workshops and coaching from some of the top coaches in the Ann Arbor and South East Michigan area (Flint and Detroit included.)
 

Why? We want to create awareness of the return on investment of coaching, as well as offering to you new educational partnerships in a win-win opportunity.  


______________________
   
We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

______________________


Here’s the business case for professional coaching.  Of all clients who have engaged a coach,

  • 99% report satisfaction with the coaching experience,
  • 70% report improved work performance,
  • 80% report increased self confidence,
  • 68% individuals report financial return on investment,
  • 80% companies report financial return on investment.



For South East Michigan and Ann Arbor, check out our local website here featuring ICW sample workshops here.   See photos from last year here.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a great win-win talent development opportunity for your leaders, staff and faculty.  Coach, consultant biographies are also listed on the website and on the ICF Michigan website, as well as the national site for the International Coaching Federation.

Now is a good time to reach out to one of the coaches and plan some workshops and coaching demonstrations for this special May event.   ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, May 6, 2014 4:13 PM

Add freshness to your company workshops experience and coaching by local, professionals.  Contact a coach listed on the main, local website here:  http://coachcafeannarbor.weebly.com/

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Managing Without Authority

Managing Without Authority | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

You are held accountable for results, but you can’t hold your people accountable. When they don’t meet expectations, you are the one who gets in trouble.


I’ve worked in organizations where this kind of frustration got so bad that managers resorted to fistfights. You could say they used crucial altercations instead of crucial conversations in their desperation to get performance back on track.


As you can imagine, these slugfests had the opposite effect. They stimulated cycles of retaliation and revenge.


...[This] taps  into a leadership concern that is nearly universal. ...As a leader, I’m given a heck of a lot more responsibility and accountability than authority. As a result, leaders are left managing without authority.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Perhaps authority and the role of management itself is changing. This is relevant, the emotion and anger, to the Escape from the Red Zone article Scooped below, referencing  Peter Naylor and Claire Crittenden.   The title starts with "No More Criticism..."  ~  Deb

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6 Game Findings: High Performance Teams > Leadership & Decision Making

6 Game Findings: High Performance Teams > Leadership & Decision Making | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"6 critical differences between top performers and the rest in the areas of leadership and decision-making."


Finding 1: Top Performers avoided the "Presumption of change" trap.

Evidence for Finding 1: Even though the game starts with each team inheriting a business from the previous executive team 95% of the participants showed no curiosity regarding how successful the previous leadership team had been and why!


...almost all new leaders focus on what they need to change but not what they need to preserve.


What to change is only part of the challenge and for whatever reason (ego, identity, peer pressure ...) showing a lack of respect for the previous team's achievements seems to be a good predictor of sub-optimal performance.


Finding 2: Top Performers suspended assumptions, thoroughly reviewed all available instructions/background research and actively sought out any available expert input.
 

Evidence for Finding 2: Senior teams or functional experts generally did worse in the game than expected and junior teams/non-functional experts generally did better than expected.


As people become more experienced and competent they often become more fixed on their "Golden Rules" ("this always works" or "never do this"). [These] can also close people down to a fresh examination of the facts available to them.

In many cases the evidence which was available would have directly challenged these golden rules if it had been properly and objectively evaluated.


Read the full post  for more.


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is an insightful list of provocative high performance team insights, different than the usual laundry list of "strong leadership," "stable teams," and, of course, a certain measure of "trust."  ~  D

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Djebar Hammouche's curator insight, September 4, 2013 12:06 PM
6 Findings: High performance team Leadership and Decision Making
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Beyond Performance Management (40 Tools & Why?) Change, Lean, 6 Sigma & more

Beyond Performance Management (40 Tools & Why?) Change, Lean, 6 Sigma & more | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Just 30 percent of these tools deliver as intended. Why?  ...They’re misused by most organizations."


As Jeremy Hope and Steve Player reveal in Beyond Performance Management, while many tools are sound in theory, they’re misused by most organizations. 

For example, executives buy and implement a tool without first asking,

  • "What problem are we trying to solve?” 

And they use tools to command and control frontline teams, not empower them—a serious and costly mistake.
 

Issue No. 251 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a new book from Harvard Business Review Press on how to select the right management tool—at the right time. The authors describe 40 tools in detail.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This helpful review highlights the framework that helps good and great performance happen with individuals, teams and in companies:  Choosing the best tools (and I'd add the best processes / change flow) at the right time to deliver right results.  

I bought the book and am reading it with great interest, as it is one of the few newer books that systemically look at  performance infrastructure.


This new book on the performance and talent management front seems to get it right including it's ambitious scope of trendy tools.   I'm reading it now and will share if it does or doesn't deliver.  ~  D

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Harry Cannon's curator insight, July 2, 2013 8:07 AM

Sounds like one to read. Certainly seen tools misunderstood and mis-used.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 2, 2013 4:45 PM
I'm 1/3rd into this book and it is REALLY on target. Great resource. Thanks for the comments from Suchitra and Harry. I so agree with the "not doing may be smarter" based on a solid review of what the needs and problems are.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 29, 2013 3:47 PM
Ok, I've about finished the book. It does contribute in many helpful ways to breaking out of industrial mindsets that hamper creativity, innovation and collaboration sorely needed in organizational thinking today. It is a helpful checklist for assessing blind spots and "keeping up with the joneses" when such "best practices" in corporate measurement and reporting are not necessary and, even worse, a drain on productivity. Highly recommended!
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Rethinking Leadership Development, Competency Confusion & What Happens Afterwards

Rethinking Leadership Development, Competency Confusion & What Happens Afterwards | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

When your manager or colleagues finish their leadership program, do they demonstrate sustained improvements? Unless their post-program behavior changes, unless they do something differently, there is no return on investment.  

There's also the assumption that all leaders in a given company must demonstrate excellence on a defined set of leadership competencies.


But the [competency] paradigm doesn't work. Excerpts from the four reasons why:


Many competencies cannot be improved. Competencies are a mixed bag. Some are skills (e.g., strategic thinking), some are personality traits (e.g., drive to achieve), some are knowledge (e.g., market insight), and some are talent (e.g., good judgment). Skills and knowledge can be improved, but personality traits and talent cannot. ...No "Drive to Achieve" class is going to change that.


Competency models are unfocused. Abbott Laboratories (ABT_) uses 24 competencies...The U.S. Department of Labor's management competency model uses 60 ... Ridiculous.


...If a leader is world-class in operational excellence but poor in strategic thinking, he/she must add an outstanding strategic thinker to the leadership team.


Related posts by Deb:


   


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The compentency systems reasoning in this article is especially provocative and worth a read to test your own assumptions. The comment about talent as not change-able is up for debate, personality less so.  ~  Deb

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How Avery-Dennison Does Strengths Right, Building Strong, Versatile Leadership Teams

How Avery-Dennison Does Strengths Right, Building Strong, Versatile Leadership Teams | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

A global manufacturer and distributor uses its Leading to Win program to promote a team spirit through recognizing strengths and weaknesses, getting everyone’s best contribution to the team, boosting team connectivity and resilience. Participants are encouraged to discuss and reconsider team roles and group dynamics.

___________________
   
The result is not just stronger and more versatile leaders, but also stronger and more versatile teams.

     

___________________

      

The program uses divergent perspectives and underrepresented strengths that often get neglected. Further, it illuminates blind spots so the team can avoid going overboard with shared strengths. The result is not just stronger and more versatile leaders, but also stronger and more versatile teams.

    

From an individual and team perspective:   managers frequently don’t understand their strengths and therefore are prone to underdo or overdo them. Through self-awareness and effort they can make better use of their strengths. The approach also identifies weaknesses they can’t afford to ignore for both managers and teams.

    

Summary reports present aggregate data from both assessments that team members analyze together to identify trends and their implications.

    
The program uses divergent perspectives and underrepresented strengths that often get neglected. Further, it illuminates blind spots so the team can avoid going overboard with shared strengths. The result is not just stronger and more versatile leaders, but also stronger and more versatile teams.


 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This piece features a balanced view of using strengths and weaknesses tools, featuring 360 feedback, for large organizations that have the resources and maturity to do 360 right.  360 processes can be easily under-resourced, which only creates more problems than it solves. 
   
The two assessment tools central to the success of the program are (from the article):

    

Realise2, a self-assessment of 60 strengths gauged according to performance, usage and energy. Results are sorted into four categories: realized strengths, unrealized strengths, learned behaviors and weaknesses.

   

The Leadership Versatility Index, is a 360 that provides feedback on how co-workers observe strengths, learned behaviors and weaknesses. The LVI’s “Goldilocks” rating scale ranges from “too little” to “the right amount” to “too much.”

Source:  Chief Learning Officer's August 2014 feature, "Strength is Not Enough."

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The New HR Organization is a Talent Machine 2014

The New HR Organization is a Talent Machine  2014 | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"HR 2014 Future Trend findings by Bersin of Deloitte Analyst based on interviews with organizations on the Future of HR."


Excerpted:


1. Talent Management Defines HR


Microsoft's recently announced they've done away with forced ranking. ...HR's role was to spearhead this change - beyond the basics (payroll, employee relations, time and attendance, compliance.)  The basics are NOT enough to be competitive.


2. Integrated Talent Management Has Shifted to Optimized Talent Management.   ... "Optimization" = how can they better compete to attract, retain, and engage their aging workforce?


3. HR Business Partner Roles Have to Change Dramatically

This item features a special performance consulting group...of five senior HR specialists (staffing, OD, learning, labor relations) working on special talent projects. They diagnosed a problem in one unit as a lack of employment brand in one of the areas they serve. They worked with the recruiting team to build a local, highly tuned employment branding program - with internships, local universities and new sourcing tools - to gain access to engineers. Within a few quarters the problem started to go away.


Could a generalist have done this without a lot of help? Unlikely.


4.  Business Thinking and Data Are Now Critical to Success

...build talent analytics and workforce planning capabilities so [HR] can prove that we're delivering impact.

Photo: gilmorec Flickr cc


Related posts by Deb:

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It

     

Beyond Resilience: Givers, Takers, Matchers and Anti-Fragile Systems

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'd define the 2014 term as Talent Development.  Traditional management techniques are changing too.  Many of the bigger companies, including Microsoft as cited in this article, have been slow to change.  Mid-size  and more agile large companies have long ago dropped forced rankings, for example.


Mid-size and larger companies are also building in Business Intelligence, data access that is accessible by more than the traditional management / leadership elite.  This is also changing the nature of business.

Bersin's views capture approaches already in place in leading companies, the exact point of this curation stream.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:08 PM

I'd define the 2014 term as Talent Development.  Traditional management techniques are changing too.  Many of the bigger companies, including Microsoft as cited in this article, have been slow to change.  Mid-size  and more agile, adaptable large companies have dropped forced rankings long ago.


Mid-size and larger companies are also building in Business Intelligence, data access that is accessible by more than the traditional management / leadership elite.  This is also changing the nature of business.

Bersin's views capture approaches already in place in leading companies, the exact point of this curation stream.


From Talent and Performance Development 

http://www.scoop.it/t/talent-and-performance-development 

news.   ~  D

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Is Your Ego Killing Your Workers' Performance? Power & Team Performance Research

Is Your Ego Killing Your Workers' Performance? Power & Team Performance Research | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Though strong leadership has long been thought to be the key to an organization's success, new research suggests otherwise via a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan, Harvard and Duke


Excerpts:
 

"By doing most of the talking, powerful formal leaders conveyed a sense that they were not open to others' input, and this dynamic produced a lower level of team performance, as measured by the team's ability to reach their goals in the simulation," the authors wrote.


In another experiment, participants were divided into four-person teams and were asked to carry out an exercise in which reaching the right decision on a personnel issue depended on each group's ability to share information.

Half of the designated team leaders were prepared before the experiment with the power questions, and half were not. Additionally, half the leaders were reminded that all team members had the potential to contribute to the team's success.
 

The researchers found that not one of the teams with the "powerful" leaders who had not been reminded about team contributions reached the right decision, compared with more than half of the other teams.
 

"Feelings of power produce a tendency to devalue the perspectives, opinions and contributions of others," the authors wrote. "When leaders were reminded that all team members had the potential to contribute to the team's success, these effects did not emerge."


Related posts and research findings via Deb:

    
     

   

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Power easily disrupts team performance..  This research helps clarify the ongoing reminders of affects of hierarchy in corporate environments  ~ Deb

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Innovation vs. Measurement & Systems: Leadership Is Always The Key

Innovation vs. Measurement & Systems:  Leadership Is Always The Key | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Think of “win-lose” structures in incentives.  If you can only win if someone else loses, what are the odds of your developing a working relationship grounded in trust?"

Trust:

Strong leadership can recognize “win-lose” structures or norms and work to eliminate them.  It seems obvious that leadership drives trust, not systems.


_________________________

Without ...systems ...built to allow for ...individual and group failure, risk will always be a negative organizational value. 


_________________________


DIVERSITY:      . . . of people, points of view, ideas, ethics, and beliefs.  Diversity is what drives and powers iteration, constant challenge, testing, playing, and randomness. Strong leadership will drive (or diminish) diversity much more profoundly than will the most deeply embedded systems.  


RISK:     Risk tolerance and the attractiveness of rapid iteration are the hallmarks of innovative organizations.  Without operational systems that are built to allow for and to contextualize individual and group failure, risk will always be a negative organizational value.


...Should you be thinking a little more about how you encourage and foster strong leadership, and a little less about your systems of measurement and evaluation.?  You might be surprised by where this reflection will take you.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is also shared here via Performance and Talent Development because of the theme of leadership above performance systems, and leadership to build an innovation, adaptive culture that trumps traditional measurement practices. ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 5, 2013 8:20 PM

The venture capitalist who wrote this post has a view I share on putting measurement and evaluation within the right context, including a certain tolerance for enough risk-taking to help organizations be adaptive and "anti-fragile." ~  Deb

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Sustaining Leadership Development: 7 Disciplines that Make it Work

Sustaining Leadership Development:  7 Disciplines that Make it Work | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"What matters most is the impact of the leader's actions on others—not just the actions themselves or the rationale behind them." 

In the recent book,  Leadership Sustainability, (Pub. March 2013), authors Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood have defined seven leadership practices that instill sustainability:


Simplicity. Focus on what matters most. Tells stories with impact...

Time. Employees see what leaders do more than listen to what they say...

Accountability. Take personal responsibility for doing what you say you will do and hold others accountable as well. 

Resources. Get coaching and institutional support to become a better leader. 

Tracking. Measure what's important and not what's easy. Tie to consequences. 

Melioration. Master the principles of learning: to experiment frequently, to reflect always, to become resilient, to face failure, to not be calloused to success, and to improvise continually. 

Emotion. "Leaders who are emotionally vulnerable and transparent will be more likely to sustain change."


Read the full book review blog post by Leadership Now:  


http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadingblog/2013/06/seven_disciplines_that_make_le.html


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Dave Ulrich is well known in the top consulting circles and for incorporating Positive Organization Scholarship (POS) which is well represented by what he and his co-author include in their 7 top sustainability practices.  ~  Deb

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