- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Terms & Conditions
Plans and Planning
Check the benefits of our approach
According to Daniel Goleman and other researchers into the functioning of the mind, one characteristic of skilfully effective thinkers is that they intentionally form a vision of a condition, goal or destination and a methodical plan of action, before they begin.
These activities should be associated with any venture. Whether for achieving an organisation's Primary Purpose or developing people's capacity for the Primary Purpose, plans should be planned and managed methodically. Mostly, they're not. A good deal of even Primary Purpose strategy is improvised or unmonitored. Activities intended to develop capacity for Primary Purpose are most often entirely ad hoc.
It's not that people don't know how to plan methodically or systematically. (Systematic means arranged or conducted according to a system, plan or organised method; regular and methodical. Methodical means characterised by method or order.) They plan and manage successful projects often enough but forget to extend the process to taking care of the culture, individual and team performance, change initiatives, their own leadership and management (for example).
Methodical models are a mixed blessing, of course. If followed slavishly they may stifle creativity, obscure any truths except those they selectively illuminate and blind us to the complete picture. They inevitably involve making simplifications. However so do improvisation and impulsivity where, because the assumptions are usually obscure, collaboration is difficult to achieve and outcomes harder to identify. Improvisation puts intended success at greater risk.
Methodical approaches have major benefits that improvisation does not:
- Others have developed, prototyped and refined them until they are found to be reliable.
- They can generally be trusted to bring clarity and progress where there is currently disorder, inefficiency, confusion or risk.
- Their use provides consistency.
- Their assumptions and practices can be taught to others to bring shared understanding and reduce guesswork, especially about what the boss, leader or facilitator requires and how s/he operates.
- When teams and groups agree to work within them, participants share an awareness that facilitates collaboration, informs creativity and enables effective participation.
These ideas are central to EncourageMentors' approach to our work. Our simple planning framework ensures that plans for Why? What? Who? How? and When? are clear; performance measures are specified up-front; progress monitoring points are scheduled and results are evaluated; and actual performance is kept close to the desired ideal at all times.
Even a little effort in this direction can significantly enhance performance. Greater benefits arise from full and consistent application of the model.
As with the other commonsense ideas we work with, it's neither rocket science nor common practice. It has helped our clients to deal well with existing challenges and to successfully avoid repeating many of them, increasing both efficiency and effectiveness
Applied to the guidance of group or team performance, the model ensures everyone is clear about the direction, standards of performance, measures of success or criteria of competence. It provides answers to questions such as:
- How are decisions to be made? Which models will apply, when?
- How are problems, differences and conflict to be dealt with when they arise?
- How shall we identify and respond to opportunities for improvement?
- How are we to refine and develop ourselves, to continuously increase our capacity for the (collective and individual) tasks that are part of our purpose?
- What other processes or methodology do we need, to ensure success?
A well-led and managed project group, team or organisation has answers to these matters in advance of the need to apply them, so that the ways of working together are known and agreed. (Methodical problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution processes are, for example, basic to effective group functioning.) Ideally, all members of the group would also be trained in their application.
The model provides a similarly helpful guide for individual performance and can be used as a basis for coaching and performance management.
If managers applied the model to their own managing, they would clarify performance measures of "effective management", identify whatever gaps exist between those ideals and their current competence (preferably through the perspectives of the people they manage), devise a development plan, and establish pre-determined points at which they would revise, apply, further monitor and evaluate that plan.
If leaders applied the model to their own leadership, they would do the same.
Things cannot go according to a plan you do not have. (Gregory Shaffer)
We work with individual leaders and managers, senior management teams and project groups to help you:
- Apply methodical management to all aspects of your responsibilities, to simplify them and provide you with confidence about your processes.
- Manage performance continuously and incrementally.
- Clarify purpose, ideals, intentions, principles, policies and desired culture.
- Simply and safely establish whatever gaps exist between those ideals and the current reality.
- Apply simple surveys to (a) establish current reality (b) increase target-setting collaboration (c) monitor progress and (d) evaluate performance results.
- Determine and develop competence with appropriate problem clarification, conflict resolution and decision-making models.
- Manage the tension between operating within a hierarchical organisation and constituents' desire to work with increasing collaboration and consultation.
- Methodically plan, manage and monitor development plans to enhance performance.
- Address under-performance confidently.
Contact Tom Watkins to discuss your interest in this topic.
Click here to subscribe Tom's occasional blog, Thriving Matters.
[Send this page to a friend]
[ Back to top ]