Evaluating Your Situation
Moving forward starts with healthy reflection. Where have we been? What have we done? Where do we want to go? What changes should we consider?
Doing an organizational diagnosis is highly valuable. The outcome is like creating a roadmap to success. First, you define what the current reality is and all of the factors that impact that reality. This is not a surface level look at your organization and effort. It is a deep dive into every aspect. From this, you can determine your starting point, your preferred future, your gaps, and your areas of key focus.
Once you have a clear understanding of these, you can begin to develop your KPIs and those of your team. These KPIs should have clear measures/metrics so that each person has clarity around their specific deliverables. These measures/metrics should include both lead indicators and lag indicators. Lead indicators are activities that will lead to desired outcomes, while lag indicators are indicators that will measure whether you have achieved your goals and objectives. If you do not have clear KPIs, you will not have a clear route on your roadmap to success.
The next step is to measure your bench strength or gain a clear understanding of who you have on your team, their unique strengths and gaps, and how the team works together. I utilize various assessment tools to provide better data for leaders to understand their team. Example: if you have a star performer, what are their characteristics, attributes, capacity, personality traits, etc. that help make them a star? If you could determine this, would it make your hiring and selection process easier going forward? It should. Better data equals better decisions if you utilize it.
Quick note: There is a lot of confusion about assessment tools, if they are accurate, can you use them, how to use them, etc. The truth is that they are an excellent source of additional information that can be used for selecting the right fit for an open position, personal/professional development, team building, and more. The key to using assessment tools is to find someone who has a depth of professional experience in using assessment tools, who uses validated tools, and who understands that assessments alone are not the answer. They are a specialized set of data to provide better insight for better decisions.
The final question to ask at this point is “What is the opportunity”? If you step back and take an optimistically objective look at the potential opportunity for you and your team, what does that look like? I like to call this the “preferred future”. In our roadmap to success, this would be our desired destination. Don’t short change this consideration. It is a key driver for you and your team. The roadmap will be made up of mile markers (lead indicators) and your destinations along the way (lag indicators). It is critical to keep a visual measure of this where you and your team can see it easily. People truly engage when they see forward movement, and even more when they can see themselves succeeding.