Solution Saturday: How Organizations Become Great at Developing Great People
Four organizations recently asked me how they might enhance their people-development efforts. In the end, it’s a question about the future.
The people on your team reflect the future of your organization.
Great people accomplish great things.
Wise leaders and successful organizations help people become great.
12 steps to becoming great at developing great people:
- Identify champions. People at the top must believe in the priority and power of developing people. Initiatives without champions waste time, money, and resources.
- Clarify purpose and goals.
- Why develop people?
- What is your vision?
- Who do we aspire to become? The ultimate question of development is “who,” not, “what.”
- How will we be better if we succeed? Develop specificities when describing “better.”
- Engage participants. If you want buy-in, engage your team in the development of the development program, early and often.
- Identify and describe skills and behaviors of successful people within your organization. How might they inform the process?
- Choose wide over narrow. Successful development speaks to all of life, not just work. Great people are great at work, in the community, and at home.
- Determine if you are going to develop your own program or purchase one out of the box.
- Choose methods that best suit the audience and organizational culture. Always consider culture when choosing any path.
- Design, develop, and adapt training materials.
- Determine the execution path. Launch sooner, rather than later. Consider using pilot programs. Adapt as you go.
- Evaluate while go, not just after. Craft evaluation questions before you launch.
- Follow the energy. If it feels like you’re pushing a rope, it won’t work.
- Explore leveraging outside talent. The people on your team are already busy doing their jobs. Should you find external talent that fully aligns with your values, beliefs, and goals to be part of the process?
How might organizations become great at developing great people?
What works and what doesn’t work when it comes to developing talent?
It amazes me how staff training and development seems to be an after-thought for many organizations. While I understand it takes time and effort, leadership needs to understand that his should be part of everyone’s job and doesn’t take people away from their work.
Really great list of suggestions!!! As I was reading them, each one seemed to raise a thought or question. For me that means lots to Consider in this post!
Maybe one a little above the rest, #6: “Determine if you are going to develop your own program or purchase one out of the box.” Three main thoughts come to mind. The first is that purchasing one probably makes financial sense for your organization. The second is that no one should expect that purchasing any program will mean simply applying it; without a broad understanding of the organization, its employees, and its needs, there is almost zero probability refinements will not be required. And the third thought that comes to mind is that, whether developing in house or selecting one for purchase and making refinements, it is important to involve the employees.
Few days back, there was one meeting scheduled where it was pre-planned that one person from each department will present the update about course curriculum. The meeting was about MBA course curriculum and its relevance to the industry. The inspection committee member were supposed to examine everything regarding this. The planning was conducted for the past one week.
On the day of inspection, just when meeting was going to start, I received a call from the person not belong to my department. The message was- the person who was expected to present by committee member has intimated that he will come late and I have take care of presenting part. Surprising thing was that we were together discussing the ideas one day before.
I was surprised as I did not have any document with me. Any how I prepared to present before committee members. Just before meeting was going to start, the person came. It was presented and I was also part of the meetings. I have not asked anything from the person about such incidence and behavior. I am planning to inform about the incident.
Now, this raises many questions. First is about communicating message to right person and in time. Second thing is about questioning the integrity of the person. Third, it speaks lot about the way people behave at the workplace (if it is prevalent).
Now, the question is about developing great people. And you have rightly pointed out the skills and behavior of the people. I think, the role of leader plays a crucial role here. If neglected, such behavior may find its root in the culture. And if right message is conveyed, people can be developed. And when leaders take step, it works most of the time, but when individual try to tackle the issue on his own level, many times it may not work.
So, leadership role in dealing with such practices play powerful in making great people and organisation.
Happy ‘Solution Saturday’ to ya Dan;
Your list of (12 Steps to Developing Great Leaders) reflects the true core values behind
Character-Based Leadership. Following these steps is what sets ‘GREAT’ organizations
apart from good ones.
Time is short toiday Dan it’s just about time to turn the block over to the next Sergeant.
To answer the question; “How might Organizations become great at developing great people?”
S T A R T W I T H G R E A T S T O C K . . .
Dan, your question about how to develop others and as a natural byproduct our organization, I believe, begins with our knowledge of developing ourselves. Many years ago when I was a very young kid, my dad and I were driving around the ranch on a rainy day when there was no work to be done. Out of the silence, dad suddenly asked me if I was lucky, and I paused and hesitated for a minute or so, and he answered for me. “No, if you have to think about it, you’re not lucky. Now ask me if I’m lucky. Go ahead, ask me?”
So I did: “Daddy, are YOU lucky?” And dad went off like a canon saying, “You’re damn right I’m lucky. Look at our farm. How about this rain? Take a look at those beautiful peaches. Let’s get off and taste the dirt the rain has fallen on. And you ask if I’m lucky? What’s wrong with you?”
Dad went on to say, “Whatever virtue you want to have, assume it and believe it, and it is yours—as long as you can see it clearly and specifically—and practice believing it—it is yours.”
Well, I started practicing I was lucky and intelligent, and that I was liked by all my teachers and friends—and that I got all “A” grades. Then, I started to believe I loved to read and I could read well…and fast. I did the same with math and so on in junior high, high school, college, at work and even personally. I wrote things down in great detail—like the home I wished to live in–as if I already obtained everything I wanted or needed. (By the way, just recently I found a bible scripture that goes: “Speak things that are not AS IF THEY ALREADY ARE.” Romans 4:17)
There is something about feeding specifics to our subconscious mind that is analogous to programming a computer. We must tell our mind’s computer specifically what we want—what our vision or end is—in order for “it” to guide us there. Then we journey or work with that vision in mind.
And unless we develop that in ourselves—and experience it for ourselves—I’m not sure we can develop it in others.
Good morning Books;
Hope ypou enjoy this day that the Lord has made; (with alil-less rain however)!
I’m not aware of your childhood upbringing, wheather you came from an affluent
family of status, or simply “one of the Jones’s”, (to coin a phrase). I simply wanted to
let you know that your father and mine share quite a few striking simularities.
Your 3rd paragragh which starts; “Dad went on to say”, closely mirrors my fathers
Phylosophy, his approach to life, and his own pathway to success that he began sharing
with me at an early age. As time passed, dad’s example’s, advice, and way he had me
apply these principals & practical concepts to everyday life became more complex as
it became apparent to him, “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree”, like father, like son.
I have been very fortunate throughout my life to have benefitted greatly from working
for, with, and befreinding forward thinking, like minded leaders that shared some of these
concepts we speak of. ‘However’, not all reached the same level of success. In fact, some
never really became successful at all. Asking myself some pointed questions revealed to
me without a shadow of a doubt why some enjoyed great success, others with simular skills
and talents remained ‘Stagnant’ as upward mobility and opportunity never seemed to come
their way. All these folks had geat intentions, but failed to plan, or more importantly, “failed to
follow their plan and PUT IT INTO ACTION.
Anyone who aspires to succseed in life better have a plan, work the plan, and put it into
action, or watch your dreams fade into the sunset.
At 57 years of age, “I don’t want to wait till it’s too late to share what I’ve been given. Play
it forward, pass it on, share the wealth, mentor/coach, call it what you want. Each of us got
to our positions in life due to the help of others. ‘NOT’ a handout, but a ‘Hand-up’!
Your life experience and knowledge do nobody any good if you keep it to yourself. One of
my favorite mantra’s; “Each one teach one”…
“Please”, feel free to reah out anytime Books
Great piece! Development is a journey which occurs every day. I attempt to follow five steps – Establish clear goals and purpose / Involve others in the creation process / Conduct pre-assessment of needs / Customize based on needs and desires / Evaluate successes and outcomes.
Just some quick thoughts….Paul
Thank you, SGT Steve. I sincerely appreciate the insights of your thoughts and wisdom…and your experiences. You remind me of a long-time friend–who is not only a brilliant Professor of Physics here at UCLA, but most of all simply a “good man,” the highest accolade that can be bestowed on any of us. Like many persons, John has complained to me about his childhood and how he was estranged from his mom and dad, and he believed they never loved him. For years, he had nothing good to say about his parents or memories of his growing up years.
So one afternoon–at his beach home and under the auspices of a few beers and a few shots
of “To-kill-ya”–I had enough of John’s bunk and I asked him where he got his goodness from,
how he got to where he is, and how it was that he is able to have a relationship as friend with me–if it didn’t come from the early influence of his parents? I asked him if he could recall ONE good thing, one time with his dad, one hug from his mom, one vacation, one dinner, one time when he showed his report card to his mom and dad and they said good things?
Of course he did, SGT Steve. My good friend, John, had a whole childhood of great memories with his mom and dad, and of early life experiences. He broke down in tears and told me many stories of his childhood. And these days after years of being a bachelor, he’s getting married.
Why do most of us chose to see our past in only negative terms, which anchors our future to the present? Why can’t we develop ourselves–which to me merely means to be more open to what’s possible–and thus we wonder why we can’t or won’t develop others? It is not about the poor and less fortunate among us; it’s about people’s “poverty of spirit” and their lack of motivation. That’s the real tragedy. Yet, like you say, that can be overcome.
And, SGT Steve, you are so right. One day we all wake up and there won’t be much more time to do the things we’ve always loved to do. One of our main goals in life is to give birth to ourselves. Our work is to discover our work–and then with all our heart to give ourselves to it.
Lastly, SGT Steve, please allow me to say this to you and accept it with great respect. For the majority of persons, the accumulation of respect, approbation and prosperity only begins between the ages of 57 and 70 on average. It is said during the ages between 25-35 we throw our first wealth; and between 40 and 55 we throw away our second wealth. However, because
between the ages of 57-70 we are not buying cars, homes, furniture, etc., and we are focusing
and honing-in more deliberately on our personal and professional lives, we “realize more tangibly” the fruits of our cause and effect more directly and thus enjoy more prosperity and fulfillment. Thank you again, SGT Steve, for your comments. Continued blessings and success be to you.
My organisation has the following people development system.
They have a strong programme to recruit and develop young people – school/college leavers – into junior scientists as part of an apprenticeship scheme. Do OK and after two years you’ll probably be permanently employed doing that kind of work.
Otherwise, if any capability not currently existing in the organisation is needed, it is bought in on the open market. We have been told it is not policy to grow or develop new skills or abilities in-house – we buy them in.
The saving grace is at least they are up-front about it.
Dan, here’s a question: in some organisations there isn’t the wherewithal (money, time, whatever) to develop everyone equally. Some people are OK with that, as they aren’t bothered about really big growth opportunities, but inevitably there are some who want more, and can see some get it and they haven’t. Any suggestions for keeping them on board, when they know full well you only have a limited offer?
Another great post Dan, The one I was delighted to see? #5 Great people are great at work, in the community, and at home. Enough said.
Dan, this was an encouraging article! The powerful takeaway for me from this article was #1- “Identify champions. People at the top must believe in the priority and power of developing people. Initiatives without champions waste time, money, and resources.” Champions have will and skill, but their will is greater than their skill. What a champion does not know how to do, he/she will train to find out or make a connection with someone who does.
There is a quote by Tom Hopkins that sums it all up:
” You stop being average the day you decide to become a CHAMPION, because the average person won’t make that DECISION.”