Here’s a great exercise with your executive team. You can self-facilitate but engaging an experienced and objective 3rd party can provide significant benefits:
- Force rank your team in the order they would be laid-off in a downturn. This is difficult but produces some great discussions around talent and even talent levels that simply aren’t required at different levels.
Look at the Top 15% and dig deeply into:
- What behaviors do they exhibit daily? What are the patterns? How do those compare with the bottom 15%?
- What path did they take from childhood until today to get here? What are the patterns? How do those compare with the bottom 15%?
- What creates their internal drive to perform? What are the patterns? How do those compare with the bottom 15%?
Putting this into action:
- Do your stated values clearly reflect these winning behaviors in clear “We will….” statements?
- Do you rigorously build and enforce those values daily?
- Do your workflow processes and structure provide maximum leverage on your top 15%?
- Do your talent acquisition processes attract similar people?
- Do your talent development processes build traits of these top 15% into the middle 70%?
Just having this rigorous facilitation identifies and changes behaviors. Often top performers don’t even know why they are so good at what they do so they have difficulty transferring those skills.