Vantage Blog

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27
Feb
2018

Mind the Performance Gap

Continuous improvement is critical when it comes to building business and leadership capability.

However investing time building capabilities alone is not enough. What are the high performance habits that successful leaders display over and above capability? How do they connect the two - capabilities and habits - to plug the performance gap and each success?

The recent Mindshop survey of global business leaders explored this very issue. The survey revealed the ‘must have’ capabilities and habits business leaders will need to succeed in 2018. Click here to access a copy of the report.

The report includes a diagnostic for you to rate yourself on the top 10 capabilities and habits. Which three should be your key areas of focus in 2018?

I welcome the opportunity to discuss strategies and learning options with you. Please feel free to contact me to organise a 20 minute discussion about your top 3 priorities.

James Atkins powered by Mindshop

Continuous improvement is critical when it comes to building business and leadership capability.

However investing time building capabilities alone is not enough. What are the high performance habits that successful leaders display over and above capability? How do they connect the two - capabilities and habits - to plug the performance gap and each success?
 ..

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23
Apr
2015

Discover your Probability of Change Success

A new model for determining the probability of change success in a business was released recently. The model was developed based on extensive research as part of Mindshop founder Chris Mason’s doctorate.


This model highlighted 3 major factors that drive successful change in businesses - Change Readiness, Capability and Beliefs. Under those major factors a further 10 sub-factors were identified.

This is a breakthrough model in helping organisations boost their probability of change success from a default 30% to a much higher rate. This obviously will then flow through to savings in cost, time, people and lost opportunities.



A compact version of the model has been released (see above video) to help businesses quickly determine their probability of change success and to determine the areas they need to focus on to improve. Once you have identified the key gaps you can review the full Change Success model, incorporating all ten factors, to help determine an action plan to improve your probability of change success.

Interestingly the research indicated the biggest gap in most businesses is in Change Readiness, as opposed to Capability or Beliefs so that may well be where you need to start before you kick off a change initiative.

If you would like to apply the model to your business and your changes initiatives please feel free to contact us at Vantage. We will be happy to explain the model in more detail and see how it can be applied to your challenges and opportunities.

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing
Powered by Mindshop
This article is linked to James' Google+ profile 

A new model for determining the probability of change success in a business was released recently. The model was developed based on extensive research as part of Mindshop founder Chris Mason’s doctorate. ..

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03
Oct
2014

A New Approach To Developing Strategy...And Your Team

The 2014 business leaders’ survey identified a number of trends and challenges which highlight the need for a different approach to strategy development and organisational learning. 


The top three organisational training needs from the survey were:

  1. Strategic development ability
  2. Implementation of those strategic skills, and
  3. Coaching and developing people

This points to the opportunity for a blending of learning with real time strategic planning and implementation - thus enabling organisations to achieve their strategic objectives whilst providing a platform for learning of individuals and teams.

It is not surprising in our fast paced, constantly changing environment that the number 1 training need was identified as strategy development. How capable really are your staff at anticipating and responding to changes in their environment, and developing more than one possible response? 
 
It is one thing to develop strategy, it is quite another to implement it effectively. This was the second key training need identified – implementation of strategic skills. Many organizations struggle with the successful implementation of their strategy. This can manifest itself in a number of ways. Too slow to implement; not sure it was the right strategy in the first place; resistance from people within the organisation and a strategy that fails to deliver the expected benefits.

The third top training need identified was coaching and developing people. How do you provide staff with an appropriate level of professional development whilst at the same time managing costs and keeping a focus on your current direction and business challenges? How do we ensure that this learning truly makes your staff more effective at what they need to do and does not become one of those activities that offers little benefit and is often seen as a waste of time? 
 
The 70/20/10 model for learning and development (Developed by the Centre for Creative Leadership) is an effective way to think about these challenges.  
 















It indicates that a new approach is needed – one that blends learning with real time strategy development, implementation and problem solving.

A blended learning approach takes into account fundamental adult learning principles incorporating the need for adults to be self directed and the need to bring life experience to the learning experience. Much of what we learn we do on the job (in fact 70%). We also learn from other people when they provide feedback on the work we are involved in and coach us to improve our skills. There is still a place for formal training as such but this does not have to be all face-to-face. Formal training can be most effective when it incorporates a mixture of workshops and on line learning, as well as courses and reading.

This new approach of blended learning recognizes that your staff need may need a flexible program tailored to their needs and your organisation’s needs. It can be made up of a mix of such elements as:

  
 










We recently worked with Compost Victoria and Sustainability Victoria to develop a five-year market development strategy. Their objective was not to have us write the plan but for their members (all competitors) to develop the market development plan collaboratively whilst up skilling their own strategic development capability. 
 
We adopted a blended model delivering six workshops augmented with one on one coaching sessions for members. A range of easy to use on line resources, from Mindshop Online, were also available so that staff could access tools when it suited and, as needed.

The outcome was a strategy that the members owned and are focussed on implementing. They are now also better placed to further refine the strategy and to respond more effectively to changes in their environment.

View this short video to learn more and hear what the participants thought of the program: 
  


by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing. 

This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

The 2014 business leaders’ survey identified a number of trends and challenges which highlight the need for a different approach to strategy development and organisational learning.   ..

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25
Aug
2013

3 Key Ideas to Help Business Leaders Succeed - August 2013

1. Lead and Lag indicators, what are you measuring?

When seeking to drive improved performance across your organization most business leaders focus their attention solely on key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are ‘lag’ indicators. Lag indicators are a signal of performance AFTER an outcome is achieve and include aspects such as new sales, profit, revenue and survey results. There is nothing wrong with these measures but in isolation they are only telling half of the performance story of your business and it’s typically too late to change anything. What organizations looking to drive improved performance should be focused on in combination with lag indicators are lead indicators of performance. Lead indicators are a signal of performance BEFORE an outcome is achieved and include aspects such as sales calls made, conversion rate of sales team, error rate on a production line and various productivity measures. Ensure in your own business both measures are focused to speed up the rate of performance improvement you are achieving.


2. Is your competitive advantage still a competitive advantage?


The current information age is allowing business leaders to gain access to new business insights rapidly via the web. Advances one company had over another don’t last very long. If your point of difference over your competitors for example was ‘quality’ but within 12 months the entire market are producing product at the same quality level what do you do? Reviewing your competitive advantage (using the sustainable competitive advantage tool) on at least an annual basis will assist you to ensure you assess what competitors are doing and also what the market is valuing. It will quickly challenge whether you still have a competitive advantage and, if not , what do you need to evolve to next. No longer can you stand still for long.


3. Overcoming hurdles is the only way to boost retained learning

Traditional training and development of leaders involved establishing a range of attributes relating to a successful business leader and then running team members through a series of workshops to learn each attribute. This worked very well (and in many cases still does) to provide team members with the fundamental knowledge of what it takes to be an effective leader. However in the current fast-paced and volatile business environment so many of the issues leaders face on a daily basis are un-predictable and rarely straight forward. This requires a greater level of self-awareness, intuition, problem solving ability and people skills. Force feeding the array of knowledge a business leader requires to be successful no longer works.  It goes in one ear and out the other. What is required for high retained learning is to provide clear commercial goals and the tools for people to address them.  Critically you need to allow them ownership of their own professional development to undertake the training, learn the tools and overcome the hurdles themselves. Each time they are forced to overcome a hurdle to achieve a commercial outcome the retained learning rises dramatically as does their effectiveness as a business leader.

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing

Powered by Mindshop

This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

1. Lead and Lag indicators, what are you measuring?

When seeking to drive improved performance across your organization most business leaders focus their attention solely on key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are ‘lag’ indicators. Lag indicators are a signal of performance AFTER an outcome is achieve and include aspects such as new sales, profit, revenue and survey results. There is nothing wrong with these measures but in isolation they are only telling half of the performance story of your business and it’s typically too late to change anything. What organizations looking to drive improved performance should be focused on in combination with lag indicators are lead indicators of performance. Lead indicators are a signal of performance BEFORE an outcome is achieved and include aspects such as sales calls made, conversion rate of sales team, error rate on a production line and various productivity measures. Ensure in your own business both measures are focused to speed up the rate of performance improvement you are achieving. ..


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