Archive for the 'Talent Management' Category

Retention Strategy? No! Do this instead.

(Prefer to watch rather than read? Click here, 5 mins, with captions.)

“We need a retention strategy”.  A common cry.

The thing is…you don’t.  What you need is to set things up so talented people want to stay.  And the good news is…they are the same things that make your organisation productive.

Which is good.

There are just two things:

  1. People can use their abilities to be useful
  2. People don’t mind who they are working with.

That’s it!

Read more…

How to Lift Your People’s Capability – The Ultimate Force Multiplier

If you’d prefer to watch on video than read, just click here – 5 mins with captions.

“I need lift the capability in my team so I can do more future-focussed work”.  It’s in the Top 3 things I’m going to hear whenever I have a chat to a manager at any level, and it’s a good idea. 

What’s rarely covered is how to actually do it.  That’s what we’re going to sort now.

Coming to Grips

Ever thought of yourself as a production line?  It’s easy to do in manufacturing, might look like this:

Read more…

Stepping Up to Senior Management – Your New Kettle Of Fish

If you’d like to watch me go through this on video, just click here.  6 mins with captions.

Senior Management is not just more management.  It’s a new kettle of fish.  I’ll go through:

  • The change in the nature of the work
  • What the job actually is
  • Action To Take

Senior Management

First – what are we talking about here?  The key thing is manager of managers.  Or, managers of multiple teams, who each have their own leadership.  These roles can be called various things, some of the ones from my clients are:

Read more…

Create the Capability in your team so the work gets done…without you!

(If you would prefer to watch me go through this on video rather than read, click here)

In my previous article, I introduced the Three Cs so your people can do their jobs, which allows you to do your job.  They are:

The previous article was on Clarity, this one’s about Capability – what each individual needs to bring to the party so they can do the work.  

There’s no genius to the idea that for someone to be able to do their job (so you don’t have to do their job), they need the capability to actually do their job.   What we need is a way to understand what this means.   This is useful in hiring when you’re bringing people into a role, but also more commonly when you’re thinking about why isn’t the job happening the way you thought it would happen.


The pyramid shows five aspects that make up a person’s capability to do the job.  And like all pyramids, the foundation is at the bottom.  However, we’ll start from the top, and we’ll use the analogy of a professional cyclist to help understand.

The Capability Pyramid
Read more…

What Exactly Is The Strategy Role?

Santos and Josh know strategy

Santos and Josh know strategy

(This one’s a longer read, perhaps save it for later or have a read at home.  Cheers, Adam)

Hey Adam,

Wondering if you can help me – my organisation has created a Strategy role and put me in it. I’ve got some generic KRAs, but a lot of room to design my own ‘value-add’. Would appreciate your view on what you see the value of such a role is.

OK, let’s talk about what the role isn’t to start with.

The strategy role is not there to take sole accountability for delivering strategy!  

Do not take on this accountability alone, either explicitly, or implicitly. It’s going to be tempting as you’re going to want to show that you’re valuable, and the core areas will gladly hand you accountability for the future to get it off their plate! It will seem like a win/win, but this degenerates into a lose/lose every time as you’ll be crying “no one here thinks of the future”, they’ll be crying “Strategy doesn’t understand I’ve got real numbers to hit here”, and the CEO will be crying “why can’t we all just get along!”

Strategy is delivered by those that either currently make or do the things customers use, or by new areas that will make or do the things customer use in the future. In other words, strategy is ultimately delivered by Sales and Operations areas (whatever you call them),even in you are involved along the way.  Not you on your own.

What Strategy Is There To Do

So if Strategy doesn’t deliver strategy on it’s own, what does it do?

It ensures both the happening of, and the quality of, the conversations necessary to both develop and implement strategy that will see the organisation continue to be both valuable and viable in it’s community.

Don’t get fooled by the simple sentence – the more simple and straightforward the sentence, the more complex and involved the actual execution (‘land someone on the moon and bring them back safely by the end of the decade‘….simple right?). These conversations are why you exist, but getting them happening requires you to do the following:

Take The Mystery Out Of Strategy. Read more…

How to take the confusion out of your people’s career development

Crowd cheering

There is a simple way to sort out the career development of your own direct reports – stop doing it!

Asking a manager to take accountability for both the output and behaviour of their people as well as considering their future aspirations is asking a lot.   But….people knowing that the organisation has someone concerned with their future beyond their current role (even if it means not leaving the current role)  is a key part of creating the trust that ultimately sees people being willing to provide their full commitment.

So who is that someone?  We use the Manager-once-Removed, put forward by Elliott Jaques in a number of his works.   The Manager-once-Removed, or MoR is your boss’s boss.  Your skip-level manager.  We make each MoR accountable for building the pool of talent that sits below their own people,  that is their skip-level reports.   Read more…

Do you actually rate employees on whether you like them?

Do you hire people and rate their effectiveness on whether they can do the work, or on whether you like them?

Before you answer, ask yourself who you rate as having the better playing career in tennis – Pat Rafter or Lleyton Hewitt?

Let me give you some information on actual performance on our two candidates: Read more…

Connect what to who (not how)

ETSA Building 2

Tom Foster writes Management Skills Blog, one of the best going around on organisations and management.  I always urge my clients to sign up, please do yourself a favour and do the same.

One of my favourite points of Tom’s is  “it’s not about how, it’s about who“.    This simple phrase goes to the heart of a change in thinking managers at all levels can apply if they want to provide better value-adding leadership to their people.

A manager who is spending their time thinking about how their people need to do something is not actually doing their full job.   This is for a simple reason – managers are paid to exercise their judgement on what needs to be done in their area to fulfill the needs of the organisation, then decide who is going to do it.

An example Read more…

Feedback – answer the questions

GilbertA younger friend of mine has recently made the elite professional level of his sport; there is no higher level besides international representation in his game.  Very impressive as he had the courage to leave his hometown and try to reach something in which there was a genuine chance of failure (when was the last time you did something with that condition?).

I asked how is he finding things at the top level, and his answer was about feedback.  He said that any mistake gets punished on the field by the other team, so there is heaps of pressure, and along with it heaps of feedback Read more…

How to increase your capability

I had some questions from my last post on cognitive capability on how to increase it.  Here’s the answer:

Don’t smoke.  The is the single most important thing you can do to increase your capability.

The second is 30 minutes of movement per day.

The third is healthy diet.

Not what you expected?   The thing is, the only way you can increase your cognitive capability is to not die.  This is because while your cognitive capability will unfold at it’s own rate, that rate has been shown by research to be predictable over time. Read more…