INCREASING YOUR COACHABILITY

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As you set more aggressive goals, you will continue to experience problems and challenges that are new to you. There are two ways to overcome new challenges:

  1. Trial and error by yourself.
  2. Learn from the experiences and input of others.

In order to accelerate your progress on goals you have set, and minimize challenges and frustrations, high achievers become experts at learning from others. There simply is not enough time to learn everything by yourself.

At the Oxley Group, we call this an attitude of coachability. We define coachability as:

  1. An openness to the ideas of others.
  2. A willingness and ability to change your behavior.
  3. A willingness to change until your results improves.

An openness to the ideas of others:

Most individuals, when asked, would claim they are quite open minded. However, the same individuals would claim there are many people they interact with that are not open minded. In truth, how ‘open-minded’ we are depends on how emotionally vested we are in the idea that is being challenged.

When presented with a new idea, we only have two choices: we can choose to learn, or choose to defend why we are right. However, you cannot do both at the same time. If you choose to defend why you are right, all learning will cease. If you choose to learn, you must suspend the right to defend yourself, only asking questions to understand a different point of view.

Choosing to learn does not imply that you blindly accept another’s point of view. It means that you are willing to let go of being right and objectively analyze an opposing point of view.

A willingness and ability to change your behavior:

Change of any kind is difficult to implement. Changing habits can feel downright impossible unless it is approached correctly. People who struggle achieving behavior change often focus on why the change cannot occur. Goal achievers exhibit a willingness to change their behavior when provided with feedback.

A willingness to change until results improve:

Coachable people realize that until an improvement in results has taken place, there is still more growth, development and change necessary. The success or failure of individuals and organizations, hinges on an understanding of this critical concept. You must never lose sight of the fact that hard work and long hours are meaningless if we you do not change your results.

To finish the exercise download this form to understand your Coachability Index.

ACHIEVING WORK/LIFE BALANCE IN A BLACKBERRY CULTURE

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I still remember the ‘old guys’, Bas and Hans, at my first corporate job. They were standing at the fax machine lamenting about how it had changed everything. No longer did they have the luxury of fielding a client request and mailing a quote or proposal to them. Now the client wanted it that day. Perhaps even that hour. Or God forbid – right away! Things were moving too fast they said.

I wonder what they would think of today’s business environment, where the luxury of time and connected thought have become unfortunate casualties of the ‘blackberry culture’. In the ‘blackberry culture’ the business leader of today is constantly available, and hence always on call. There is very little down time. At the same time, as a society, we have a deep yearning to create some semblance of work/life balance. I hear this yearning resonating in groups that we work with across all demographics and geographies. It reaches it’s height in the first and second levels of supervision, and starts to decline in the more senior levels of management as leaders become accustomed to the culture of connection and resign themselves to their fate. Some brave souls have found the way to strike the delicate balance between their personal and professional life, but more often than not there is a quiet resignation to the reality of corporate life.

So if work/life balance is at all possible, how do people strike the balance? We asked 15 senior leaders this question. In the discussion that followed we discovered 5 myths that they had to honestly uncover within themselves and address.

Myth#1: I have to be accessible all the time.

The unfortunate reality is that cell phones and blackberry type devices have created an ‘electronic tether’ for high achievers that is highly seductive in it’s allure. This tether serves to massage our egos while allowing our need for control and constant contact to run amuk. Here are 4 ways to recognize and counter the allure of the ‘electronic tether’:

1. Reconcile yourself to the fact that you are not indispensable.

While there is no doubt that leaders make a valuable and significant contribution to the success of the teams they lead, only the most egocentric amongst us would deem themselves to be truly indispensable. In fact, it is a sobering reality that no matter how talented a person is, everyone will be replaced one day. The only question is when that day will occur. Every city has a piece of real estate full of people who once considered themselves indispensable. In fact, we would argue that if you are indispensable, you are not performing adequately as a leader – but more on that later.

2. Check your ego at the door.

There is no doubt that successful leaders have a healthy self image and they draw on this belief in their own abilities to tackle challenges and obstacles that would seem daunting to others. The question that every leader must ask is this: What gives me my sense of self worth? Does it come from an inner sense of contribution to others and recognition that adding value is always recognized by others in any organization of value? Confident leaders can always afford to lavish well deserved praise on others. Jim Collins spoke to this issue with a concept he referred to as the window and the mirror. He related that his research of successful leaders showed that when things went well they went to the window and praised the people in the organization that had made it happen. When things did not go well, they would go the mirror and ask themselves what they could have done differently. In contrast, leaders who struggled would go the mirror when things went well and congratulate themselves. When things went badly, they would go to the window and chastise the culprits who, no doubt, had caused the poor results. Where do you go when things are going well – the mirror or the window? When was the last time you were at the window?

3. Recognize your addiction to being in control.

One of the disturbing trends that I see in many client groups is the growing addiction many leaders have for controlling every aspect of the business. The Blackberry Culture allows you to insert yourself in to aspects of the business that would have been impossible only a few years ago. Most leaders do not recognize this trend within themselves, but they do complain of one of the major symptoms of this trend – lack of engagement from their employee base. If you see this trend with your people it may be time for some self reflection as to it’s root cause.

4. Recognize your crisis orientation.

Leaders excel at problem solving. There is a sort of adrenaline rush that comes from being the one who is not stressed but energized by daunting tasks, by being the one person everyone knows will be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat at the last moment. In fact, most leaders (if they were honest) would admit to some degree of satisfaction from being the one who can handle the crises that others stress about. Leaders must learn to judge their success not by how many crises are addressed, but by how many are averted and/or handled by others.

Myth #2: I have to work the hours I do.

Do you? Think back 3-5 years, if you could go back in time, could you do that job in less time? Most leaders answer that question with an emphatic yes! Well, how did that change occur? For most leaders, it happened slowly as they gathered additional skill and knowledge. It happened in reaction to the demands of having to do more in less time.

Here is another question for you: Do you expect the demands on you to increase or decrease over the next year? That question usually evokes a chuckle from the audience. Of course, demands always increase. The problem is that we linearly increase our production capability in response to demand, rather than making a dramatic shift in the way we address our work.

What is required is a quantum shift in our thinking rather than a linear shift in our ability or, worse yet, more ‘effort’. Now, I am not peddling the ‘work smarter, not harder’ adage that is true, but not exactly helpful. Most people inwardly groan when a leader starts that pep rally speech. The problem is not that we want to work harder, but that we do not know how to work smarter. In fact, our thinking is limited by the challenges and problems we experience every day.

One of the best ways to make a quantum shift in your thinking is to make the status quo unacceptable. Here is one way to make this happen:

Sit down with at a quiet time and blank pad of paper, and answer the following question: If I had to double my group’s production in the next year, how would I make that happen? Now, I know what your immediate reaction will be – that’s impossible! Well, maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. (I have seen it happen to many people who initially thought it so.) But, at the very least, looking for the answer to that question will take your thinking to a higher plane – to solutions that you would not have otherwise considered.

Once you have completed this exercise, determine one habit that you must change to move yourself in this new direction. Next, commit to making this habit change a reality – not tomorrow – today.

Oh, and one other thing: Give up on the idea that you have to work all those hours, and start asking yourself every day how you could do more in less time – unless, of course, you actually like the people at work more than the people at home.

Myth #3: My boss expects everything yesterday.

At VisionPoint, we have had the pleasure of working with thousands of leaders from all levels in many types of organizations. One of the key comments we hear from leaders is that everything is urgent and that their boss requires everything ‘yesterday’. Since we often work with different levels of the same organization concurrently, we decided to check this feedback out with the ‘boss’. What we have found is that the ‘boss’ was unaware of a problem and did not know that their demands were creating a culture of reactivity. To remedy this, leaders need to learn to push back more effectively on demands made by their boss, rather than just accepting all assignments without question. This is particularly hard for those of us that were raised with the belief that when the boss says jump – you ask “how high?” Although this is an admirable trait and will serve you well in many areas of life, it is not the response of a leader.

The truth of the matter is that the more competent a leader you are, the less your boss knows of what you have on your plate. In other words, your boss is NOT thinking of the other five projects you are working on when they assign the sixth. They are merely thinking of that project. The urgency they impart to their request may very well have more to do with the fact that it is the last thing they were working on than that it is of a higher priority than the other five projects. Their confidence in your ability allows them to focus on the matter at hand, because they know you will not only accomplish the other five, but in their mind they are already complete.

As a leader you must master the skills of saying no. In reality, you never say ‘no’ to your boss, however you must push back enough so that you can establish the true urgency and relative priority to the other projects/tasks you are working on.

Myth #4: I can’t take a vacation (without wishing I hadn’t when I get back).

One of the greatest joys of your life can be the time you take to pursue extended periods of relaxation or adventure away from work. The unfortunate reality for many leaders is that they neither relax while they are away, nor are they able to reenter work after a vacation without a tremendous amount of stress. In fact, I know of many leaders that deliberately go on a cruise for their vacation because there is no cell phone coverage at sea (read this – my job cannot reach me).

Contrary to what many people believe, the current state of their ‘vacations’ is not the problem.

It is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Here is the brutal truth about vacations: What you are experiencing during times of vacation is a logical extension of the way you conduct yourself on a day to day basis. If you wish to increase the quality of both your vacations (and the time after them when you return to work) you will have to restructure the way you lead long before you go on vacation.

And there is no quick fix.

You must make a decision about what you want to have your next vacation look like. Then, take deliberate steps to put in place the systems, processes and people to make that vacation a reality.

It can happen. And you will be a better leader for it.

Myth #5: My employees are not motivated

It is almost impossible to achieve work/life balance without a motivated support team. At the same time, recent research shows that 71% of the US workforce is either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged”. It bears consideration then, what we as leaders can do to make sure we have “highly engaged” employees.

Take this quick quiz:

  • List all your team members and rate their current motivation level on a scale from “1” to “10”.
  • Estimate what the effect would be on the team’s productivity (and your quality of life) if all team members were at least an “8”.

This is the hard part: Recent research (Gallup) shows that leaders can significantly increase the motivation of employees. Here are some of the reasons employees are disengaged that have the strongest link to business performance:

    • Employees don’t know what is expected of them at work.
    • Employees do not have the material and equipment they need to do their job properly.
    • Employees are not utilizing their key talents – they are ‘misaligned’ in the organization.
    • They do not receive recognition for good work.
    • No one at work is interested in them beyond the work they do.
    • No one at work seems to care about their development.

As leaders, we need to long take a look in the mirror and ask how much of the problem we could be contributing to. Be honest with yourself – that’s what leaders do.

Once you have your answers you will need to commit to addressing the challenges you have identified.

Now, establish 3 actions you need to take to evaluate and improve the motivation level of your team.

As I think back on my experiences with Bas and Hans at my first corporate job, I realize that they were hoping to get to retirement before change caught up with them. These days, for those of us farther than a few years from retirement, that is a race we will lose. The good news is that the path to effective leadership is available to those who will make daily self improvement a habit.

The choice is yours.

ROI: THE END OF TRAINING AS WE KNOW IT

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How do you measure the effectiveness of training initiatives?

Don’t believe anyone that tells you it can’t be done. It can.

In fact, if you want your people to take training intiatives seriously, you must find a way to connect them with the business results that are important to operational leaders.The challenge for most leaders is not that they expect too much from training, it is that they expect way too little. As a result, leaders are unwilling to put forth much effort in most training programs. The result is as predictable as it is sad: Wasted time, wasted effort and wasted money.

The question of how to measure the effectiveness of training has been increasingly posed to Human Resource Development (HRD) departments over the past decade. So much so, that nearly every HRD conference or convention has a slate of topics revolving around the issue. And the pressure to validate the return o n training dollars invested is only likely to intensify.

In fact, the general trend toward accountability could be the best thing that ever happened to training, but only if we start to think about training expenditures as investments, and demand a return on that investment. We must stop thinking that a successful training program is the one that trains the greatest number of people for the smallest amount of money. Training is irrelevant without a change in results.

And yet there are still lots of folks that would have us believe that training expenses should not be subjected to the same Return on Investment (ROI) decision making criteria as other business expenditures are. They would have us believe that you cannot measure or calculate the ROI of training initiatives. You know what I mean, they say things like “Yeah, it costs a lot of money, but -(insert excuse here)”. Well, the days of allowing training expenditures to made o n pure faith is over. And the training industry will be better for it!The truth of the matter is that training and development is not a mysterious art. It is a serious business discipline that should be conducted as any other business discipline is. Boiled down to it’s root elements, ROI training interventions are based on a very simple formula:

  1. Decide what business outcome we are looking to achieve and how we will measure our success (metrics).
  2. Determine the changes in behavior and application necessary to reach the business outcome.
  3. Identify the skills, knowledge and/or attitudinal shifts necessary for the necessary behaviors to be applied on the job.
  4. Design the intervention process based on the gaps identified.
  5. Measure the results in terms of the business outcomes impacted and calculate ROI.

Based on Kirkpatrick’s work almost 40 years ago on the four levels of training evaluation, the ROI model adds a fifth level: the impact of business results converted to a monetary value and compared to the costs of the training implementation. As with other measures of ROI, training ROI is typically expressed as a percentage (%). Table 1: Description of Evaluation Levels

Level Description

  1. Reaction and Planned Action Measures the reaction of the participant to the program and outlines the plan for implementation.
  2. Learning Measures skills, knowledge or attitude changes.
  3. Job Application Measures behavior change on the job and specific application of the program content.
  4. Business Results Measures the impact of behavior change in the business.
  5. OI Compares the monetary value of the business results to the costs for program implementation (%).

A model for calculating the return o n investment in HRD was proposed by Jack Phillips in his book ‘Return on Investment’. This model provides a methodology for simplifying a potentially complicated process to a series of sequential steps.

  1. Determine the purpose of the evaluation.
  2. Determine the instruments, timing and levels at which you propose to evaluate the effects of the initiative.
  3. Collect the data.
  4. Isolate the effects of the training.
  5. Convert the data to a monetary value that represents a conservative estimate of the benefits of the training. Keep a separate list of the intangible benefits of the training.
  6. Tabulate the program costs.
  7. Calculate the Return on Investment.

In these turbulent times, it is intuitive to many HRD professionals that top performers are looking to the company to invest in the development of their talents and abilities. These small-scale investments may not require the level of justification outlined above. However, it is our belief that the proper utilization of the ROI model is essential for the justification of large-scale HRD initiatives. only a realistic and believable ROI justification will ensure that HRD’s seat at the executive table is placed solidly in the front row.

ACCELERATING CHANGE IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD

, ,

Sooner or later it happens to every manager and leader. The group you seek to lead has been doing what they are doing for so long that they appear incapable of change.

And yet, change they must. You see the writing on the wall. If they do not change the very existence of the organization is at risk. Unfortunately for you, endless downsizing, rightsizing, re-organization, redeployment, layoffs and other management initiatives have left the management “trust” account empty. You know, the account that you draw on when you have to ask people to do that which is unpleasant. But you know that you need their buy-in for the objective to be accomplished.

But now the account is empty. No more opportunity to withdraw. And there is no time to make significant deposits. You need action now. You know that the situation deserves a long-term fix, but the luxury of time is not yours.

It’s the kind of scenario that is played out all too often in corporate America these days. In order to address this issue we must start at the beginning. To begin with the “end in mind” may be good speech material, but this group has heard too many promises and “feel good” approaches. No, in a case like this, the only thing that will work is to start at the beginning – with the people.

There is no such thing as a group reaction.

Groups or organizations are nothing more than a collection of individuals. So it is very dangerous to generalize about the way a group will react. The group doesn’t react. People do. Now that is not to say that there is no such thing as corporate culture, there is. But what is culture? Culture is the habitual way a group of individuals will act. And habits are nothing more than an unconscious response to a situation.

Three types of employees.

In our experience there are three types of employees; the superstar, the average performer, and those who quit along time ago – but are still collecting a paycheck.

The danger in managing a group through change is that the average performers are often being influenced by the low performers to react to change negatively. The major reason that we have so many average performers in a typical organization is that the manager is managing for “average performance” not “excellence”. We spend all our time trying to bring those with below average performance up to the average. The theory here is that by improving the weakest members of the team we will shift the average performance upward. Our experience has been that this hardly ever works.

The Plan Of Action.

In order to get a change initiative into high gear, the leader must move decisively to:

  1. Identify by objective measurable terms the criteria for membership in each group.
  2. Determine which employees are in each group.
  3. Clearly communicate the goals for “excellent” performance to all employees.
  4. Give objective one on one feedback to all employees as to where they are now. Offer alternate employment to anyone who is unwilling or unable to improve.
  5. Place the bottom 10% of employees on a “performance improvement plan”.
  6. Use a “performance management plan” to communicate progress on their goals to all other employees. Focus your attention on the best performing employees.
  7. Do not tolerate average performance for very long if there is not progress being made.
  8. Celebrate excellence at every opportunity.

THE BALANCED SCORECARD

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Like it or not, most organizations today are aware of the critical need for new strategies to meet new challenges. Life in the business world has changed and will change over and over again in the foreseeable future. That comfortable feeling from operating a business “how we’ve always done it before” is scarce and getting scarcer! Successful companies are building and continually rebuilding their roadmaps to guide them through labyrinths of business challenges. And they will thrive best if they are also focused on selecting and retaining the right talent for their jobs!

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent resources for organizations to leverage in creating new strategy roadmaps. The concept of the “Balanced Scorecard” is one such resource. It was introduced by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in 1996 (“The Balanced Scorecard – Translating Strategy into Action”), and has achieved prominence in the eyes of major corporations who have implemented it. The four-part scorecard consists of Financial, Customer, Internal Processes and Learning and Growth. It provides a solid yet flexible framework for reviewing current performance in each target area, plus mapping new strategies for the future and tracking accountabilities.

Kaplan and Norton’s latest book, “The Strategy-Focused Organization – How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Economy” (Harvard Business School Press, 2001), reveals insight into implementing this performance management framework. After years of balanced scorecard implementations in large and small organizations, they note that success is not just dependent on the strategies contained in the scorecard. The major success factor revolves around the dynamics of executive leadership teams and their “abilities to transform themselves into problem-solving teams.”

Teams need a variety of talent and communication styles to be resilient and effective. Their ability to interact openly with each other and the rest of the organization is critical to achieving performance goals in all areas of the balanced scorecard. Kaplan and Norton note that the outdated “command and control” model of leadership just does not work anymore.

Human performance proves again and again to be the key success factor in making strategic business initiatives work, as in the implementation of the balanced scorecard. The investment made in selecting the right talent for evolving jobs – especially in leadership roles – continues to be the most valuable business investment for the future success of any business.

How does your business measure human performance? Do you have the right talent in place for the unique challenges of today’s evolving business world?

Face the future with confidence through effective human performance management. Contact us today to discuss how the TriMetrix System can lead your company to success with customized job benchmarking, talent selection and personal development.

The Balanced Scorecard

,

Like it or not, most organizations today are aware of the critical need for new strategies to meet new challenges. Life in the business world has changed and will change over and over again in the foreseeable future. That comfortable feeling from operating a business “how we’ve always done it before” is scarce and getting scarcer! Successful companies are building and continually rebuilding their roadmaps to guide them through labyrinths of business challenges. And they will thrive best if they are also focused on selecting and retaining the right talent for their jobs!

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent resources for organizations to leverage in creating new strategy roadmaps. The concept of the “Balanced Scorecard” is one such resource. It was introduced by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in 1996 (“The Balanced Scorecard – Translating Strategy into Action”), and has achieved prominence in the eyes of major corporations who have implemented it. The four-part scorecard consists of Financial, Customer, Internal Processes and Learning and Growth. It provides a solid yet flexible framework for reviewing current performance in each target area, plus mapping new strategies for the future and tracking accountabilities.

Kaplan and Norton’s latest book, “The Strategy-Focused Organization – How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Economy” (Harvard Business School Press, 2001), reveals insight into implementing this performance management framework. After years of balanced scorecard implementations in large and small organizations, they note that success is not just dependent on the strategies contained in the scorecard. The major success factor revolves around the dynamics of executive leadership teams and their “abilities to transform themselves into problem-solving teams.”

Teams need a variety of talent and communication styles to be resilient and effective. Their ability to interact openly with each other and the rest of the organization is critical to achieving performance goals in all areas of the balanced scorecard. Kaplan and Norton note that the outdated “command and control” model of leadership just does not work anymore.

Human performance proves again and again to be the key success factor in making strategic business initiatives work, as in the implementation of the balanced scorecard. The investment made in selecting the right talent for evolving jobs – especially in leadership roles – continues to be the most valuable business investment for the future success of any business.

How does your business measure human performance? Do you have the right talent in place for the unique challenges of today’s evolving business world?

Face the future with confidence through effective human performance management. Contact us today to discuss how the TriMetrix System can lead your company to success with customized job benchmarking, talent selection and personal development.

Accelerating Change in an Uncertain World

, ,

Sooner or later it happens to every manager and leader. The group you seek to lead has been doing what they are doing for so long that they appear incapable of change.

And yet, change they must. You see the writing on the wall. If they do not change the very existence of the organization is at risk. Unfortunately for you, endless downsizing, rightsizing, re-organization, redeployment, layoffs and other management initiatives have left the management “trust” account empty. You know, the account that you draw on when you have to ask people to do that which is unpleasant. But you know that you need their buy-in for the objective to be accomplished.

But now the account is empty. No more opportunity to withdraw. And there is no time to make significant deposits. You need action now. You know that the situation deserves a long-term fix, but the luxury of time is not yours.

It’s the kind of scenario that is played out all too often in corporate America these days. In order to address this issue we must start at the beginning. To begin with the “end in mind” may be good speech material, but this group has heard too many promises and “feel good” approaches. No, in a case like this, the only thing that will work is to start at the beginning – with the people.

There is no such thing as a group reaction.

Groups or organizations are nothing more than a collection of individuals. So it is very dangerous to generalize about the way a group will react. The group doesn’t react. People do. Now that is not to say that there is no such thing as corporate culture, there is. But what is culture? Culture is the habitual way a group of individuals will act. And habits are nothing more than an unconscious response to a situation.

Three types of employees.

In our experience there are three types of employees; the superstar, the average performer, and those who quit along time ago – but are still collecting a paycheck.

The danger in managing a group through change is that the average performers are often being influenced by the low performers to react to change negatively. The major reason that we have so many average performers in a typical organization is that the manager is managing for “average performance” not “excellence”. We spend all our time trying to bring those with below average performance up to the average. The theory here is that by improving the weakest members of the team we will shift the average performance upward. Our experience has been that this hardly ever works.

The Plan Of Action.

In order to get a change initiative into high gear, the leader must move decisively to:

  1. Identify by objective measurable terms the criteria for membership in each group.
  2. Determine which employees are in each group.
  3. Clearly communicate the goals for “excellent” performance to all employees.
  4. Give objective one on one feedback to all employees as to where they are now. Offer alternate employment to anyone who is unwilling or unable to improve.
  5. Place the bottom 10% of employees on a “performance improvement plan”.
  6. Use a “performance management plan” to communicate progress on their goals to all other employees. Focus your attention on the best performing employees.
  7. Do not tolerate average performance for very long if there is not progress being made.
  8. Celebrate excellence at every opportunity.

ROI: The End of Training As We Know It

,

How do you measure the effectiveness of training initiatives?

Don’t believe anyone that tells you it can’t be done. It can.

In fact, if you want your people to take training intiatives seriously, you must find a way to connect them with the business results that are important to operational leaders.The challenge for most leaders is not that they expect too much from training, it is that they expect way too little. As a result, leaders are unwilling to put forth much effort in most training programs. The result is as predictable as it is sad: Wasted time, wasted effort and wasted money.

The question of how to measure the effectiveness of training has been increasingly posed to Human Resource Development (HRD) departments over the past decade. So much so, that nearly every HRD conference or convention has a slate of topics revolving around the issue. And the pressure to validate the return o n training dollars invested is only likely to intensify.

In fact, the general trend toward accountability could be the best thing that ever happened to training, but only if we start to think about training expenditures as investments, and demand a return on that investment. We must stop thinking that a successful training program is the one that trains the greatest number of people for the smallest amount of money. Training is irrelevant without a change in results.

And yet there are still lots of folks that would have us believe that training expenses should not be subjected to the same Return on Investment (ROI) decision making criteria as other business expenditures are. They would have us believe that you cannot measure or calculate the ROI of training initiatives. You know what I mean, they say things like “Yeah, it costs a lot of money, but -(insert excuse here)”. Well, the days of allowing training expenditures to made o n pure faith is over. And the training industry will be better for it!The truth of the matter is that training and development is not a mysterious art. It is a serious business discipline that should be conducted as any other business discipline is. Boiled down to it’s root elements, ROI training interventions are based on a very simple formula:

  1. Decide what business outcome we are looking to achieve and how we will measure our success (metrics).
  2. Determine the changes in behavior and application necessary to reach the business outcome.
  3. Identify the skills, knowledge and/or attitudinal shifts necessary for the necessary behaviors to be applied on the job.
  4. Design the intervention process based on the gaps identified.
  5. Measure the results in terms of the business outcomes impacted and calculate ROI.

Based on Kirkpatrick’s work almost 40 years ago on the four levels of training evaluation, the ROI model adds a fifth level: the impact of business results converted to a monetary value and compared to the costs of the training implementation. As with other measures of ROI, training ROI is typically expressed as a percentage (%). Table 1: Description of Evaluation Levels

Level Description

  1. Reaction and Planned Action Measures the reaction of the participant to the program and outlines the plan for implementation.
  2. Learning Measures skills, knowledge or attitude changes.
  3. Job Application Measures behavior change on the job and specific application of the program content.
  4. Business Results Measures the impact of behavior change in the business.
  5. OI Compares the monetary value of the business results to the costs for program implementation (%).

A model for calculating the return o n investment in HRD was proposed by Jack Phillips in his book ‘Return on Investment’. This model provides a methodology for simplifying a potentially complicated process to a series of sequential steps.

  1. Determine the purpose of the evaluation.
  2. Determine the instruments, timing and levels at which you propose to evaluate the effects of the initiative.
  3. Collect the data.
  4. Isolate the effects of the training.
  5. Convert the data to a monetary value that represents a conservative estimate of the benefits of the training. Keep a separate list of the intangible benefits of the training.
  6. Tabulate the program costs.
  7. Calculate the Return on Investment.

In these turbulent times, it is intuitive to many HRD professionals that top performers are looking to the company to invest in the development of their talents and abilities. These small-scale investments may not require the level of justification outlined above. However, it is our belief that the proper utilization of the ROI model is essential for the justification of large-scale HRD initiatives. only a realistic and believable ROI justification will ensure that HRD’s seat at the executive table is placed solidly in the front row.

Increasing Your Coachability

,

As you set more aggressive goals, you will continue to experience problems and challenges that are new to you. There are two ways to overcome new challenges:

  1. Trial and error by yourself.
  2. Learn from the experiences and input of others.

In order to accelerate your progress on goals you have set, and minimize challenges and frustrations, high achievers become experts at learning from others. There simply is not enough time to learn everything by yourself.

At the Oxley Group, we call this an attitude of coachability. We define coachability as:

  1. An openness to the ideas of others.
  2. A willingness and ability to change your behavior.
  3. A willingness to change until your results improves.

An openness to the ideas of others:

Most individuals, when asked, would claim they are quite open minded. However, the same individuals would claim there are many people they interact with that are not open minded. In truth, how ‘open-minded’ we are depends on how emotionally vested we are in the idea that is being challenged.

When presented with a new idea, we only have two choices: we can choose to learn, or choose to defend why we are right. However, you cannot do both at the same time. If you choose to defend why you are right, all learning will cease. If you choose to learn, you must suspend the right to defend yourself, only asking questions to understand a different point of view.

Choosing to learn does not imply that you blindly accept another’s point of view. It means that you are willing to let go of being right and objectively analyze an opposing point of view.

A willingness and ability to change your behavior:

Change of any kind is difficult to implement. Changing habits can feel downright impossible unless it is approached correctly. People who struggle achieving behavior change often focus on why the change cannot occur. Goal achievers exhibit a willingness to change their behavior when provided with feedback.

A willingness to change until results improve:

Coachable people realize that until an improvement in results has taken place, there is still more growth, development and change necessary. The success or failure of individuals and organizations, hinges on an understanding of this critical concept. You must never lose sight of the fact that hard work and long hours are meaningless if we you do not change your results.

To finish the exercise download this form to understand your Coachability Index.