Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing peopleAt the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies. — Lawrence Bossidy

In this series a of blog posts we discussed the true role of employees, and how to attract the right people for your organization.  Once you have the right people, it is imperative that you develop them to increase the organization’s capacity.

First you must understand your own beliefs about people’s ability to change, which we explored in our last blog.  In this newsletter, we will introduce you to the four elements of The Living Organization® Development Model.

Our model is based on understanding what it takes for a person to succeed.  The four elements in the model are:

  • Clarity and agreement on expectations
  • Resources consistent with those expectations
  • Required skills to fulfill the expectations
  • Desire to fulfill the expectations.

To develop a person, it is critical that everyone involved agrees on what is success.   

Do you know what success looks like for each person within the company? Can you clearly articulate the full range of what is expected?   Every job has expectations around the activity to be performed, the way we engage in relationships and how the person grows in capability and maturity. If you can clearly state the full range of expectations in both the short and long term, you get many kudos.

Expectations go hand and hand with the resources available. If you wanted someone to plant 40 acres in a day, you might want to ensure they have a tractor not a horse drawn plow.  Ask yourself, do you have the appropriate resources for that person to do the job? If not adjust the expectations or get them the resources.

Of course, the individual needs to have the requisite skills to meet those expectations and be successful. What many leaders don’t explicitly recognize is that no one will ever have the requisite skills. There will always be a gap.

Does this shock you?

Think about it, for a minute.  If the person is already fully capable of doing the job, they would likely be looking for a position that is more challenging, one that gives them an opportunity to grow.

So by definition, there will be a gap between a person’s ability and the full expectations of the job. This is the foundation for developing the person.

You will want to understand and clearly articulate the full range of skills needed. The technical skills, interaction skills, as well as the human or maturity skills. Can they do the tasks, create the right relationships, and thrive in the company environment?

The final ingredient to being successful is a true desire to do what is expected.  We have found that if a person is not performing well and the other three elements (expectations, resources, and skills) are in place, then they probably are in a position that does not fulfill them.

If a person is not performing well, you can use these four elements as a way of diagnosing what may be the problem.

  • Do they fully understand and agree with what the job entails?  If not, reach agreement.
  • Do they have the resources needed?  If not, you as the leader can fix that (provide resources or adjust expectations).
  • Do they have the requisite skills?  Provide them with feedback and guidance for how they can develop the requisite skills.  Remember, only they can develop the skills.
  • If the first three are in place, then determine what job they really want to do.  One thing we have discovered around motivation, deeply motivated people will tend to seek out the first three on their own.

These four elements comprise the foundation for hiring the right people and for developing them.

In the next newsletter we will continue the series exploring the role of leader as development coach.