Archives For clarity

I recently conducted a needs assessment for a senior executive group and was surprised when one of the highest rated development needs was stress management. The topic came up again in training discussion when another executive group expressed a high desire to include stress management on the list. I guess I assumed in a climate where everyone was expected to delivery more with less (as is the case in most places) the topic would seem too “soft” to them.

Now I’m thinking maybe they were on to something. Instead of ignoring the stress, they’re trying to be proactive about it. If the business reality won’t change anytime soon, maybe we can better adapt to it.

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Is complexity leaving your organization behind?

That’s a question we considered at a workshop I attended recently. Author Mark Miller and a team of facilitators walked a large group through the content of his new book Chess Not Checkers. The boardgame imagery? It’s symbolic for what happens as organizations grow. In the early stages of most small organizations or teams, the rules are simplistic and team members may play interchangeable roles much like the game pieces in a checkers game. But as growth occurs, complexity kicks in. Roles require specialists to address additional complications. The playing field starts to resemble a game of chess, rather than checkers. If we’re not careful, we’ll fall behind.

Chess1

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Powerful Question #11

November 6, 2013

Question Mark 2Sometimes when I meet with a leader of a team or a department, I’ll ask a question about priorities that usually raises an eyebrow or two. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the ones who can answer it usually seem to be on top of things a lot more than the ones who draw a blank. Why don’t you give it a shot? Here it is:

What is your process for determining which projects get priority and which ones either get saved for later or dumped altogether?

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All of a sudden you get put in charge of building a new training course for your organization. It could be leadership training, professional training or technical training. Doesn’t matter. So you do the hard work of analyzing the learning needs, developing objectives, designing content, coordinating the event and finally delivering the course. Mission accomplished! That is, until management asks for the evaluation results to find out what difference the course made. Now you’re just insulted. After all the hard work you put in, management thinks your course may have been a flop? The nerve!

This may be how you feel about evaluation… unless you have a built-in evaluation plan. In that case, you’ll be ready to hand over the results of your training before management even asks for it.

So how do you evaluate learning programs? In this post, I’d like to summarize the Kirkpatrick Four Levels of Learning Evaluation.

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My favorite annual leadership event takes place each May. It’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast. The seminar features some of the biggest names in all of leadership. This year’s theme was: “Simply Lead.” I hope you got to attend, but if not, I’ve included 12 of my greatest takeaways. Here they are:

CFA Leadercast 2013

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