I talk a lot about focus and accountability as key elements of our P3 methodology. Focus means a lot of things to a lot of people. Focus can mean different things in different settings.
In business, organizations need to focus on what is most important to their customers, what is most important to their workforce, and what is most important today to create inclusion, innovation, and teamwork when people are working from almost anywhere.
It goes without saying all organizations are focused on achieving results. Why then, is there such a bifurcated response? Meaning on a 10 point scale, if you as leaders after the implementation process how they would rate it most would say a 2 and the minority would say an 8. The question is: what’s the difference between achieving a 2 and an 8?
What I have learned and what we baked into our P3 methodology is the difference is in follow-up and reinforcement.
Over my organizational development career, I have had the pleasure to work with literally hundreds of brands and organizations and got to see first-hand the difference between organizations that had the right type of focus and accountability and the vast majority that did not.
As I have mentioned, early in my OD career I was fortunate to work with Dr. Ken Blanchard during the rise of The One Minute Manager phenomenon. I also became obsessed and passionate about producing results based on the philosophy of The One Minute Manager. The reason I became so obsessed about producing results is the vast majority of the Blanchard clients we worked with produced no significant lasting results.
It’s not that the principles or fundamentals were not the right ones to create sustainable results our client organizations were after. What was lacking was their commitment of follow-up and the focus on the behaviors that were going to drive the results the organization desired. Typically those results were focused on selling more and servicing better. Sound familiar?
What I quickly learned as a young man in the OD Profession was that most organizations and in fact most leaders have good intentions. But, good intentions not delivered equals squat.
What happens typically as organizations get larger and more complex is the HR and OD system turns into a program of the month or program of the year mentality instead of a process that is delivering and supporting core principles consistently, over time. That is what our P3 methodology does and that is why our clients get such significant lasting results.
For those organizations that are not focused on the core principles, their workforce oftentimes learns “this too shall pass.” What I mean is they simply pull the manhole cover over their head and wait because they know another one is coming right around the corner.
Further, this program of the month program or program of the year mentality creates employee disengagement and apathy. The opposite of what we are striving for.
What do the best organizations do to get sustainable, repeatable, and predictable results?
Typically the best organizations spend 10x the amount of follow-up, reinforcement, and focus on implementing, measuring, and adjusting a new business process or fundamental than they do communicating and launching it.
Now think about your organization. Think about the role you play in your organization. Think about how much you have to do and how busy you are. I mean it. Take a minute and think about these things.
Now answer this question.
Do you spend most of your time with your people and your team communicating and launching initiatives or do you spend the majority of your time following up, reinforcing, measuring, rewarding, recognizing, and refining what you most want and what is most important to your customers and your people?
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of you who are honestly answering this question, the answer is most of your time is spent putting out fires and launching new ones which oftentimes create additional fires.
It is only the rare best-of-breed leaders and organizations that flip the equation and invert the process by focusing 10x the amount of resources and energy on follow-up and measurement than they do initiating a new productivity process or improvement process.
As a result, of the lack of results of most organizations implementing The One Minute Manager principles, the best book of the series, in my opinion, was released. That was called Putting the One Minute Manager to Work.
In this book, a productivity improvement process developed by Dr. Robert Lorber changed my organizational development career for the better, forever.
What this productivity improvement process did was take the OMM principles which are timeless and simply logical, and let organizations know that if they wanted results they had to pay the PRICE.
Paying the PRICE was a framework that ensured every manager would cascade his or her goals in a way that made sense to his or her team. Our job was to help senior leaders align around the three to five most important goal areas that would drive results for their customers, innovation, and continuous improvement. Once those goals were established, we cascaded them through the organization with the PRICE methodology.
P – Pinpoint – Pinpoint the areas we are going to measure and hold our teams accountable for.
R – Record – Record the current baseline, record progress along the journey, and record how well we did against our goals.
I – Involve – Although senior leaders’ role is to set the big picture organizational goals, one of the most important elements of success is involving leaders, teams, and individuals in refining those goals for their functional area or business unit. Involvement means not just telling. It means listening and revising as it makes sense.
C – Coaching – Once goals are set that’s where the real work begins. Coaching around the key goals. Coaching around the behaviors or skills that will support those key goals is every leader’s most important role.
E – Evaluation – Evaluation should be an ongoing process. We don’t wait until the end of the goal period to evaluate, although we do that too. Evaluation occurs day to day, minute to minute to make sure that our goals and the behaviors that are supporting those goals are the ones that are still most valuable and relevant to our customers.
The best organizations when they evaluate catch people doing things right. They reinforce the positive at the organization, team, leader, and individual level. Evaluation is synonymous with celebration and recognition for a job well done.
My final question for you, regardless if you are a senior leader, an HR executive, a business unit leader, or an individual contributor. For the goals that are most important to you, are you paying the PRICE?