Talent and Performance Development
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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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Why Some Teams Perform Better than Others: The Secret Ingredient

Why Some Teams Perform Better than Others: The Secret Ingredient | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Culture defines any business, yet it's also one of the hardest things to manage. In this extract from her TED Book, Margaret Heffernan describes the important, often-overlooked element necessary to build an effective, efficient organization: social capital."

     
...Having a high aggregate intelligence or just one or two superstars wasn’t critical. The groups that surfaced more and better solutions shared three key qualities.
   
  • First, they gave one another roughly equal time to talk. This wasn’t monitored or regulated, but no one in these high-achieving groups dominated or was a passenger. Everyone contributed and nothing any one person said was wasted.
   
  • The second quality ...was social sensitivity: these individuals were more tuned in to one another, to subtle shifts in mood and demeanor. They scored more highly on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which is broadly considered a test for empathy. 
  • The third distinguishing feature was that the best groups included more women, perhaps because that made them more diverse, or because women tend to score more highly on tests for empathy. What this (and much more) research highlights is just how critical the role of social connectedness can be.
    
   ...In large organizations, ...A functional head will challenge a regional head and then they will reverse roles. This way, they learn the exigencies and contingencies of both positions; they start to see common themes, ways they can help and support each other, and empathy grows.
       
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Social capital, here, features the ability to let go of a singular perspective and take on the perspective of another.  Here it is the key way to expand understanding and take on a system perspective more fully. The complexities of a system become accessible in empathy and social capital investment.  Business intelligence, in this way includes metrics and so much more.  ~  Deb

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James Rigby's curator insight, March 2, 9:38 AM

A really great blog!

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Letting Go: 6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals

Letting Go:  6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"It takes courage, tenacity and teamwork to let go of performance appraisal practices and industrial age thinking.  In our  post 9-11, post financial meltdown, "New Normal,"  business will never be as it was.  Can we let go?"


A1998 article about ending appraisals in favor of the APOP, the Annual Piece of Paper is one way to go.   Using an approach like the APOP or a two box annual conversation method, Meets [or Exceeds], Does not Meet, as mentioned in the video, is a step in the right direction. It is a form of incremental change, very similar to the Adobe Systems “check-ins” featured here in more detail.  Adobe’s 2012 system moved away from individualized ranking and ratings.  


The full post includes a short video that features asking a "beautiful question:      


Why are we doing things the way we’ve been doing them the past 20 years—what if we tried a whole new approach?      Thank you Warren Berger, author of “A Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas (2014)


It also covers why using Pass / Fail evaluation systems can help.


See the video and full post here.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.

The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  


A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 19, 2014 12:59 PM

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.  It  is embedded within change principles, which is why I've posted it here as well as in the Talent & Performance Development curation news.    The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  

A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  Deb 

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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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3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way

3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Leadership today has evolved greatly.  Our systems for supporting high performance and leadership in teams and in entire organizations has not kept up with the times."


See the article, SlideShare and videos here.

Excerpts:

At a recent workshop with JVS in Southfield Michigan, I shared some of the research and practical organization experience I’ve collected on high performance teams.
 


As we hear of findings and new development from “big data” AND “small data” (highly personalized, tracked), it is also good to explore how access to performance data can inform leadership at all levels and encourage team achievement and speed, especially when old practices that slow and interfere with performance are removed.


Also keep in mind the differences between true teams vs. psuedo-teams  and groups.  Many project and task groups are assembled as teams to accomplish a charge or purpose.    Sometimes these groups or teams: 

  • produce an innovation or breakthrough success for their organizations,
  • are formed based on a favorite interest or pet project idea of an executive that, in hindsight, provides limited value to their organization.    
    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Besides research, this article includes my  interview findings of what stops performance dead in its tracks, including fresh insights from an interview of a millennial, a 25 year old, describing her work experience after graduating from college in 2010.    ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, September 10, 2013 8:39 PM

This is one of my own posts featuring research on emotional space in high performance teams as well as the positivity / negativity ratios in such teams.   What do you think?  ~  Deb

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Navy SEAL Lessons For High Performance Teams

Navy SEAL Lessons For High Performance Teams | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
Every person counts. And four other important rules to work by.


Excerpts:

Military culture is traditional, historically informed and fixed, whereas corporate cultures differ based on the leadership or other variables that oftentimes create challenges for employees at every level.


Military personnel have a clearly structured and transparent path to promotion, while in the world of business, there's often no defined career progression and the necessity for employees to manage their careers.


_____________________

Every SEAL knows with 100% confidence that the person behind him will be able to save his life. 

_____________________


It's clear that above all else, the Navy SEAL’s functional and effective teamwork is among one of its top strengths. SEAL insights could, and should, be applied to working teams in business.


Excerpts from the article:
 

Every person counts. 

Every SEAL knows with 100% confidence that the person behind him will be able to save his life. Corporate leaders need to be able to say the same about their management teams. Employees’ livelihoods depend on it.


SEALS train. 
When SEALs are not on combat deployment, they spend the vast majority of their time in training. In contrast, executives spend the majority of their time executing. The importance of training for new employees, or even a veteran team, is vital to the success of the business. Navy SEALs spend thousands of hours honing their skills, and so should employees in a profession.


Everyone is expendable. 
All SEALs are trained in a nearly identical manner, so no one SEAL is indispensable to the unit or the mission. The understanding during combat is that anyone can be lost at any time and the rest of the unit can carry on the mission successfully. Businesses need to ensure contingency plans are in place ...so the team can carry on without any delays.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

It's a different model for high performance.  From a place of tradition, it challenges corporate tradition.  Succession planning AND management are important.  Few have truly prepared for succession management.  ~  D

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What Can Swarms Teach Us About Teams and High Performance?

What Can Swarms Teach Us About Teams and High Performance? | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Do you want your organization to behave in a more collaborative way? For better results, try taking some cues from nature."


The notion of “swarming” to assemble a cross-functional or cross-departmental team, could be considered a key factor in an organization’s ability to develop and thrive.


Gartner described a work swarm as a “flurry of collective activity” to deal with non-routine workplace problems or opportunities. Without this option, organizations can fall short in their quest to respond to stressors (or opportunities) in quickly changing internal and external environments.


....Building a pipeline of talent is imperative with swarming – but this should be developed in a manner that is meaningful. Mapping the skills and strengths of potential team players within relevant industries, becomes a critical goal.


Furthermore, teaming applications (like Jostle), can also help document the evolving skill sets of potential contributors.


Related posts by Deb:


    
    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

If you want to jump start an exploration of swarming, look at large group methods  that are swarm friendly, including Open Space Technology - photos here.


Also, this article reminds me of the Membership, Control, Goal simple model that helps create movement & synergy in a team.


I'm encouraged by organizations looking seriously into swarming support and creating more  permeable boundaries around formerly rigid roles.   ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 22, 2013 10:23 AM

Agile Learning include teams including flexible, adaptable conditions, vs. more rigid hierarchies, that allow teams to develop.  ~  D

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, November 7, 2013 11:07 AM

A post that gathered interest  right away on the Talent and Performance Development curation stream.  Note the key aspect, "non-routine" workplace problems or opportunities. "


Don't we all have these?  Are we ready to respond to non-standard events, "anti-fragile?"


From  Talent and Performance Development, which also features recent articles on performance metrics and management (reinvention.)

~  Deb 

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Classic: How to Give Good Feedback, Beyond Appraisal

Classic:  How to Give Good Feedback, Beyond Appraisal | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"...Human nature hasn't changed - few of us enjoy hearing about our shortcomings, and few of our bosses and colleagues look forward to describing them.


Part of the problem is that work itself has changed - it's more team- oriented, less individualistic. The tougher it is to measure individual performance, the tougher it is to evaluate it."

___________________________


The tougher it is to measure individual performance, the tougher it is to evaluate it."

___________________________


Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado ...explor[ed] how best to modify the hospital's existing checklist-based reviews: Which ratings made the most sense? Which scoring systems worked best? But no amount of tinkering satisfied Parkview's leaders.


Dorothy Gill, vice president of human resources, and a team of her colleagues explained their dilemma to the CEO: "He said, 'If there isn't a better way to do reviews, let's just stop doing them.' So we did. 


Gill and her colleagues eventually came up with an idea. It's called APOP, for Annual Piece of Paper. The most valuable kinds of feedback, they concluded, are the daily interactions between leaders and their people - interactions that can't be captured on paper.


The hospital still requires that managers do annual reviews. But instead of being top-down appraisals, the reviews are bottom-up requests for assistance: What can the leader do to make the employee's job easier? What gets in the way of accomplishing the job?


___________________________

There are no scores, no written goals for the next year....  the...process "takes performance reviews and turns them upside down." 

___________________________


And the medium for those reviews is conversation, not written evaluation. There is a form - the APOP. But its only role is to confirm that the conversations took place. There are no scores, no written goals for the next year.


It's literally a piece of paper, signed by the employee and the director, that records the date, place, and agenda of the meeting. The APOP process "takes performance reviews and turns them upside down," Gill says. "Directors don't tell employees how they're doing. They ask open-ended questions to see what will help employees do a better job."


photo: by felipe.cabrera, Flickr CC 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a classic article from way back, 1998, that is still fresh and current today on the topic, with many relevant business examples and practice tips.  


Parkview Medical Center is still around.  Hospital reviews are available via US News and World report.  They are placing as one of the top 11 hospitals in the state for several health practice areas.  ~  Deb

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Giving Feedback: Remembering the Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | HBR

Giving Feedback: Remembering the Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | HBR | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

The 5 to 1 ratio, "it’s the secret to high-performing teams — and strong marriages."  It's a classic feedback guide worth revisiting to do a self-check for the performance of your own business community.

Excerpt:   

The factor that made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams, Heaphy and Losada found, was the ratio of positive comments: “I agree with that,” or “That’s a terrific idea”

to negative comments:  “I don’t agree with you,” and “We shouldn’t even consider doing that,” that the participants made to one another. Negative comments could go as far as sarcastic or disparaging remarks. 

 
The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6, nearly six positive comments for every negative one. The medium-performance teams averaged 1.9, almost twice as many positive comments than negative ones. Low-performing teams were at 0.36 to 1, almost three negative comments for every positive one.
     
The research, conducted by academic Emily Heaphy and consultant Marcial Losada, examined the effectiveness of 60 strategic-business-unit leadership teams at a large information-processing company. “Effectiveness” was measured according to financial performance, customer satisfaction ratings, and 360-degree feedback ratings of the team members.
    
Related posts by Deb, :

 

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


3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way  (Includes M. Losada research)


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

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This research is very useful for peer feedback & teams, as well as leaders.  It helps organizations improve strategic and adaptive thinking, doing, as well as becoming more resilient and "antifragile.'  ~  Deb

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How to Evaluate Performance of Project Teams

How to Evaluate Performance of Project Teams | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

An HR manager offers suggestions on  evaluating project team performance including a template you can download for your use.


[Teams] want know what is working and what isn't. Team evaluations don't necessarily have to be negative. If weak areas exist, remarks made can turn those negatives into positives.


Your team's project performance should be evaluated in one of two ways:

  • Team members should evaluate themselves and each other.

  • Team members should evaluate each other and team leaders should evaluate individual team members.  [DN:  The team leader is also a part of the team evaluation.]


Photo by Ekaterina Sotova Flickr-cc


Related posts from Deb:

    

3 Success Factors for High Performance Teams, and What Gets In the Way

    

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The downloadable form is behavioral and a good start for looking at moving away from individual performance appraisal.  What would improve it even more is simply providing data to teams members on key metrics that are central to improving results.

We still have aways to go.  ~  D

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

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It! | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Looking for high performance in your organization?  Then take a good look at teams vs. groups.  Research findings about how work teams appear to be gaining in strength, and the communication patterns that help it happen.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is my own new blog posts on high performance team research.  It includes a handout on the differences between teams and groups or psuedo-teams, as well as research from several sources that help define what makes a real team as well as a high performance or "dream" team.  ~  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.


Related posts by Deb:

      


   

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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Business & Talent Building: Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them

Business & Talent Building: Problems With Incubators, and How to Solve Them | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Financing isn't success, and office space isn't value...  there are over 7,500 business incubators around the world. Most of them fail."



The first business incubator in the U.S. opened in 1959 and is still operating. In the last couple of years, we have seen a renaissance in the incubator business. Pioneered by YCombinator, Silicon Valley's flagship incubator led by Paul Graham, incubators have come back with a vengeance.


____________________

...incubators ...need to overcome two pitfalls: they need to provide real value, not just office space, and they need to measure success in more than just outside funding.

____________________

YCombinator has seen some significant successes...[and] has fueled ...an incubator bubble.... Incubator are now a global phenomenon, and there isn't a major city in the world where an incubator isn't cropping up.


For incubators to live up to their full economic potential, they need to overcome two pitfalls: they need to provide real value, not just office space, and they need to measure success in more than just outside funding.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

A management quote I have adapted seems to fit here: "If it can be measured with the right measures at the right time with the right tools and by the right people, it can lead to new productivity, motivation and high performance."  

Ownership of good data can power incubator success, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.  ~  Deb

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High Performance Teams (and Marriages): The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio

High Performance Teams (and Marriages): The Ideal Praise-to-Criticism Ratio | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
It's the secret to high-performing teams -- and strong marriages.


The research, conducted by academic Emily Heaphy and consultant Marcial Losada, examined the effectiveness of 60 strategic-business-unit leadership teams at a large information-processing company.



________________________

The factor that made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams,..
.was the ratio of positive comments to negative comments...nearly six positive comments for every negative one.

________________________


"Effectiveness" was measured according to financial performance, customer satisfaction ratings, and 360-degree feedback ratings of the team members.

The factor that made the greatest difference between the most and least successful teams, Heaphy and Losada found, was the ratio of positive comments

  • ("I agree with that," for instance, or "That's a terrific idea") 

to negative comments 

  • ("I don't agree with you" "We shouldn't even consider doing that") that the participants made to one another. 
The average ratio for the highest-performing teams was 5.6 (that is, nearly six positive comments for every negative one).

The medium-performance teams averaged 1.9 (almost twice as many positive comments than negative ones.)

_________________________

..Only positive feedback can motivate people to continue doing what they're doing well, and do it with more vigor, determination, and creativity.
_________________________

But the average for the low-performing teams, at 0.36 to 1, was almost three negative comments for every positive one.

...Only positive feedback can motivate people to continue doing what they're doing well, and do it with more vigor, determination, and creativity.

Perhaps that's why we have found with the vast majority of the leaders in our database, who have no outstanding weaknesses, that positive feedback is what motivates them to continue improvement. In fact, for those in our database who started above average already (but are still below the 80th percentile), positive feedback works like negative feedback did for the bottom group.

Focusing on their strengths enabled 62% of this group to improve a full 24 percentage points (to move from the 55th to the 79th percentile). 
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

First scooped to the Art and Science of Motivation, it also belongs in the Performance category.  Enjoy! ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 1, 2013 8:18 PM

This refers to some classic research from M. Losada & Heaphy on connectivity in high performance teams.  This research about positive and critiquing feedback ratios (and the volume of the positive feedback) seems right on target from the 1998 studies.  ~  Deb

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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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