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My HR BLOG: HUMOROUSOURCES

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on November 30, 2012 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Visit may latest entries on my HR Blog: Humorousources;)

http://hr.toolbox.com/blogs/humorousources/

Other Free Material 4 U ! Enjoy! Learn! Share!

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on November 30, 2012 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Click on this and connect  to other free material you can use; enjoy and make it a great day!

http/longisland.academia.edu/MaurizioMorselli

Are You a Facilitator? A Leader? Or Both?

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on October 31, 2012 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)


THE FACILITATOR-LEADER

By Maurizio Morselli


Being a good facilitator is at the core of being a good leader. A true facilitator-leader creates a community, centered around learning, sharing and open communication. This is the essence of strength in the classroom/meeting room/boardroom, which can then be pragmatically transferred to the work at hand and to future professional and personal endeavors.

A strong facilitator-leader should exude genuine passion: the facilitator-leader’s actions should speak loudly to her/his participants(team, students, colleagues…), thus creating an environment where team members trust each other and are empowered to make decisions, to ask questions & to actively participate — even in the absence of the facilitator-leader. An effective facilitator-leader engages the group continuously. People feel part of an empowering environment where mistakes are part of a constructive, dynamic learning process and not part of a boring, destructive, unilateral process.

An effective facilitator encourages teams to be honest, to be responsible and to take risks and to seek mutual understanding. The facilitator-leader, together with her/his participants or team contributes to

1. positive outcomes

2. incrementally better results and

3. high value for participants , organizations and their clients.

Successful lessons/workshops or meetings should engage the whole self and be empowering.

I have found (from participants’ feedback and from my own field experience as facilitator of leadership and of language learning experiences) that success is mostly dependent on the following 10 factors :

1 CLARITY: you must be clear about the objectives of the course and of each lesson (and related tasks). This helps you stay on track and it also ensures that participants understand expectations.

2 PRE-PLANNING: one must have a detailed “roadmap” to facilitate the group through each session. Creating a logical, intuitive roadmap/process requires time: hours or sometimes days but, with a detailed roadmap, you’ll be able to maneuver well and not get lost. Plus think of the confidence you’ll have in knowing your do have a clear roadmap.

3 FLEXIBILITY: be ready to switch gears mid-stream when your process is not meeting the needs of the group; it is quite possible that the objective for your students(or organization) has shifted (no matter how many hours went into the planning). Your students are your customers and you must meet THEIR needs. Remember, it is not about you!

4. FACILITATION SKILLS: an understanding of group dynamics is a fundamental, essential factor; knowing when to work as a large group, in small teams and as individuals; knowing when to seek consensus and when majority or an individual take precedence. Knowing how to engage the whole group in healthy discovery and discussion. Know your participants; know your class!

5. ENGAGEMENT AND BRAINSTORMING: Understanding the idea generation process, including how lateral thinking occurs and how to design & adapt exercises. You might have a nicely pre-printed leader’s guide but be ready to adapt exercises to new insights and emerging new, relevant ideas.

6. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT ABILITY: if and when it occurs, an effective facilitator nips conflict at the bud, addresses it and defuses it. Also remember the 4Ps of good management: Praise in Public and Punish in Private, which means provide praise in front of the group but corrective feedback is best, more respectfully given privately, one on one.

7. IDEA JUGGLING: The ability to keep/accept multiple ideas in your head(to juggle), bring them together succinctly and play them back to the group; the ability to summarize the group’s progress towards the goals and explore the road ahead.

8. RECORDS MANAGEMENT: The ability to capture notes /record of the session’s strengths and weaknesses as well as individual student needs. Follow up on any pending items/promises to students. Keeping orderly filing and follow-up systems.

 9. TRUST PARTNERSHIP: knowing how to help groups build trust; beginning with setting agreements in advance and at the end of every meeting. Maintaining confidentiality and professionalism at all times. Knowing when to laugh with the group and when to refrain from making any judgmental comments.

10. SUBJECT MATTER MASTERY: unless you know the subject thoroughly and have the confidence to tackle most questions and/or emerging issues on the subject, you should not be facilitating it and should acquire additional knowledge and or seek the guidance of an experienced mentor. You should be thoroughly familiar with all the resources you recommend, with the exercises to be executed and with any technology you are suggesting your participants use as part of your class/meeting/workshop. Furthermore if you are facilitating in another organization (school/institution…) ensure you are also familiar with key information about that organization.


Naturally these ten factors of success are only a distilled set of guidelines, which should serve as a living roadmap. Let’s also remember that the oxygen of any “living” set of rules and guidelines should always be common sense! I hope these ten quick suggestions, do, in fact, make sense and that “common sense” becomes “common practice” for all of us as Trainers and as Leaders. Happy and productive facilitating!

Maurizio

Language Killers: Use and Abuse of English in Italy

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on October 16, 2012 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Language Killers

:/by Maurizio Morselli

 

We’re destroying our environment; our basic constitutional and human rights are eroding away faster than our beachfronts and we’re seeing more wars and civil conflicts than ever. Now we’re even killing existing languages and infecting their robust linguistic DNA; I admit that language diversity and creative usage of amusing terminology can be cute or even quaintly elegant…but an overuse of foreign terms in any language when a corresponding one exists in that language, well, it’s just not nice. Sure we can dine “al fresco” in Manhattan and meet a person who is rather “simpatico” in Trafalgar Square and sometimes even refer to something as a “double entendre”; and there’s nothing wrong in shouting: “bravissimo!” to an opera “mezzo soprano”(even though it’s a woman…) but sometimes it’s just too pretentiously much; I am currently teaching business English and facilitating leadership development classes in Europe as I attempt to write a book or two on Human Resources (“molto multitasking…”): this new and happy chapter of my professional life has also taken me to the top of an admittedly biased personal balcony where I can observe the use and misuse of English terminology in Italy; “it’s linguistic fusion!” some say…I say: it’s linguistic “CONfusion” ; it seems to me that people(journalists/politicians/businesspeople/

teachers believe that their listener/reader/student will be impressed by their substitution of an Italian term with an English one. It seems to me that this exercise in linguistic betrayal achieves only amusing examples of unimpressive communication.

Well …are you ready? Below are some examples I have personally heard/read that should illustrate my point. Oh, what is my point? Yes, it is simply what I stated earlier: when tempted to use a foreign term/expression, my suggestion to all is to use your own language, not another one, when you know there’s a corresponding term and/or expression in your language. For instance, I know very well that there are equally descriptive terms/expression for the following

Italian gems of linguistic confusion:

 

Abbiamo fatto la spending review

• Considereremo nel prossimo budget(in Italy pronounced “Baggett”)

• La Powerpoint non era male ma lo speaker era soft e poi non ha centrato bene il target

• Maurizio, la tua cravatta e’ molto fashion

• Abbiamo erogato un corso sulla leadership per i top manager

• Il corso di teambuilding e’ svolto da un trainer del corporate office

• Non vedo la ROI nel report

• Useremo la balanced scorecard come foundation per il nostro Performance Review Process

• Forse l’approccio MBO (Management By Objectives) sarebbe un buon target

• Abbiamo fatto uno scan del mercato

• L’ufficio che si occupa della governance

• Gradirei tuo feedback

• Abbiamo incluso il key performance index

• Chi gestira’ il Marketing ?

• Credo che sia un VIP(Very Important or…Very Italian? I couldn’t resist)

• More to follow…

In essence, simple points to remember:

 

1. Communicate to express, not impress

2. Don’t use complex or foreign terminology when a simpler one in your own language will aptly render the same message or idea

3. But…Always eat your pasta “al dente”

 

Help Leaders Reach Endless Skies

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on October 4, 2012 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (1)

Help Leaders Reach Endless Skies: Remove their Propulsion Blockers!

By Maurizio Morselli

To achieve their maximum potential, executives should revisit their house of talents and experiences and focus first and foremost on the “attic” of their "potential triumphs" rather than on the “basement” of "passed tribulations(aka development needs)"

 

In my work with executives, I am often asked to work with executives on specific "development needs". And, while the analysis, discussion and dialog with each executive yields important points of introspection and “home improvement” areas (… development needs), it is my view that this approach also keeps the executive in a retrospective vortex of negative reflection. It slows down forward, creative, passionate propulsion.

 

Naturally most mature executives will indeed be able to work on their “development needs”, albeit with different degrees of commitment. Moreover, in my experience I have also found that the very discussion of a manager’s shortfall(s) reappears subconsciously in their ongoing self-analysis, thus hindering optimum, joy propelled peak performance. In fact I have coined a word to describe this phenomenon: the “propulsion blocker”.

 

I have found it a lot more helpful to focus, instead our work on the exciting prospects of the potential leaps that fuel and propel the engine of a person's joys and positive energies.

Oftentimes executives, in an attempt at conveying their self-awareness have said to me things like : "I know I am a terrible delegator"; "I am a terrible presenter" when in fact, "they" are not: a terrible delegator; "they" are not: a terrible presenter, for the expression "I am…(whatever)", implies one’s identity, and indeed a tragically mislabeled diagnosis; the reality is, instead, that: "they have had difficulties" in delegating, “a tough time” presenting or have experienced other situational challenges. But important to note that those situational challenges are not what the person IS!

Could this be viewed as a subtle, academic/semantic difference? I really don’t think so because when false identifications are perpetuated, it can make a world of difference in one’s self-perception, thus blocking the momentum of self-correction and healing.

 

Recently I attended a most interesting talk on "Psychosynthesis", by Dr Alberto Alberti. He eloquently and plainly explained his work. This branch of psychoanalysis focuses on just what I mentioned: on the positive architecture of one's abilities; that which allows a person to migrate from a basement of accepted grief to an attic of constant state of joy, of self-contentment and thus new, energy filled, forward looking discoveries. Haven’t we all heard the old adage, after all: “focus on the positive!”? Which leads me to Psychosynthesis.

 

Psychosynthesis was first formulated in 1910 by the Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli(1888-1974), a pioneer of the psychoanalytic movement in Italy, and a contemporary of both Freud and Jung. Early in his work he observed that repression of higher, super conscious impulses (later known as "repression of the sublime") could be just as damaging to the psyche as repression of material from the lower unconscious.

 

Assagioli’s work has application to all of us, as WHOLE human beings. As I listened to Dr Alberti I couldn’t help but think about my own work, our work as teachers, the work of HR professionals, leaders and anyone interested in facilitating growth.

 

In our work with Managers and organizational Leaders we often work on correcting the “basement” of their being, the impulses and drivers at the lower, humid, musty floors of their “architecture” when in fact we should be looking at the “top floors”, the attic from which we can observe the stars and the endless skies. The focus here is more on leveraging joy and maximizing curiosity, and less on the identification and correction of the lower material. In other words: maximizing propulsion of our joyful self, not blocking it!

 

Psychosynthesis is explicitly growth-centered.

With the insight of a prophet, Assagioli declares: "Only the development of his inner powers can offset the dangers inherent in man's[sic] losing control of the tremendous forces at his disposal and becoming the victim of his own achievements. ... This is indispensable for maintaining the sanity and indeed the very survival of humanity."(1)

Essential to this involves learning the central process of "dis-identification" from all that is not the self, and from stereotypical labeling; and centering on "self-identification," or the realization of our true identity as a center of awareness and joyful will.

 

In its most basic sense, psychosynthesis is simply a name for the process of healthy personal growth: the natural tendency in each of us to harmonize or synthesize our various aspects at ever higher levels of organization by focusing passionately on our strengths.

 

And facilitating that wonderful discovery process is a learning journey in which all of us as HR professionals/Teachers/Facilitators/Coaches, can take part.

 

I encourage every HR professional, Coach, Organizational Development Specialist, Organizational Psychologist, Career Advisor to explore the work of Dr Assagioli and consider incorporating it into their work; it will make a difference!

 

Venice, April 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________

 

1. The Act of Will (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1974), p. 6

 



 

Behaviour Based Interviewing To Select Government Officials

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on February 1, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (2)

HOW HR PRACTICES CAN SAVE THE WORLD: First in a series:

http://www.peopleink.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Past-Behavior-future-behavior.jpg

Behaviour Based Interviewing by Maurizio Morselli

 

 

Past behavior and performance predicts future behavior and performance.

It isn’t about what you “think” the candidate can do but rather, what they have actually done and achieved and how they went about it. There are no imaginary situations or “what ifs”. No; instead the applicant must describe specifically past situations/issues/problems, what they specifically did and the actual results they achieved. It’s not about promises or woulda’s coulda’s…

 

That being the basic tenet of this practice, coupled with extensive research that shows the high “predictive validity” of this approach, numerous successful organizations have been using this process to select their talent.

 

Allow me, an observation and a question:

 

OBSERVATION:

We seem to apply a sort of selective leniency ACCORDING TO THE TYPE OF “CANDIDATE” WE ARE SELECTING ; for instance, PRESIDENTIAL candidates’ peccadillos large and small are treated as an unassailable “part of their private life” yet JOB candidates’ is all “assailable” and they must be pure in everything, past and present - as evidence by the practice used by many employers to do background checks, credit checks, criminal checks, even check social sites entries/photos etcetera- of job candidates.

 

QUESTION FOR ALL OF US:

 

WHAT IF GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS USED THE BEHAVIOURAL BASED INTERVIEW PROCESS TO SELECT (and exclude) CANDIDATES FOR FUTURE LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?

 

La Strategia Oceano Blu

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on October 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Strategia "oceano blu". Cos'è?

Dall'oceano rosso della competizione spietata, all'oceano blu calmo e senza concorrenza, dove per vincere bisogna innovarsi e espandere il proprio mercato. Le mosse da fare per darsi regole capaci di aprire mercati incontrastati, in cui la crescita è garantita

La Strategia Oceano Blu è la teoria secondo la quale i mercati in cui operano le imprese di qualsiasi tipo sono metaforicamente visti come due oceani paralleli di colore diverso, uno rosso ed uno blu, a seconda del modo in cui si decide di operare sul mercato stesso.

L’oceano rosso e’ un mercato ipotetico in cui i manager delle imprese si sono focalizzati da tempo, che comprende tutti i settori esistenti, dove vige una continua lotta tra competitors per aggiudicarsi una maggiore fetta di domanda all'interno dello stesso settore e dove c'è completa assenza di innovazione.

In questo tipo di mercato le imprese devono accontentarsi di bassi margini di profitto, perché l'approccio strategico è quello tradizionale, basato sulla sconfitta della concorrenza. Viceversa, un oceano blu è caratterizzato da innovazione!

Le nuove idee sono sviluppate attraverso mosse strategiche, cioè da un insieme di azioni e decisioni manageriali che portano alla nascita di nuovi prodotti e servizi che, a loro volta, fanno nascere nuovi mercati. Ma come si passa da un oceano rosso a quello blu?

Anche se può sembrare difficilissimo abbandonare le logiche tradizionali e studiare nuove strategie, la svolta non è nell'idea geniale che sbaraglierà la concorrenza, ma è dare un valore innovativo a qualcosa che già esiste, interpretandolo in forma diversa.

Si tratta di creare "innovazione di valore": cambiare l'approccio mentale e superare così i confini tradizionali del proprio settore di riferimento per esplorare nuovi territori, guardando soprattutto ai non-clienti e creando nuovi spazi mercato incontaminati.

Per poter dar vita ad un oceano blu non è sufficiente avere a disposizione dirigenti con un buon senso critico e in grado di imparare dagli errori: i manager dovranno riflettere sul fatto che senz'altro esiste una parte di mercato completamente libera, con una struttura differente in cui possono loro stessi decidere le regole.

Esempio

Quando si parla di "Strategia oceano blu" non si può non citare uno degli esempi di maggior successo dell'applicazione della strategia: quello del Cirque du Soleil. Il Cirque du Soleil ha rivoluzionato il settore dei circhi negli Stati Uniti, arrivando a neutralizzare la concorrenza.

L'idea vincente è stata quella eliminare tutti gli ostacoli di varia natura ed inserire elementi nuovi che hanno fatto crescere l'interesse dei clienti andando ad acquisirli anche da altri settori, ad esempio dal teatro.

La mossa strategica ha richiamato un segmento di clientela assolutamente nuovo: adulti e professionisti, pronti a pagare un prezzo molto più alto rispetto alle famiglie con bambini, il tradizionale target di riferimento dei circhi.

In meno di vent'anni, Cirque du Soleil ha raggiunto un fatturato tale da consacrarlo leader mondiale del settore. La strategia si è rivelata di straordinario successo soprattutto perché una crescita così rapida si è verificata in un settore in crisi, per il quale le analisi strategiche tradizionali indicavano un potenziale di crescita molto limitato.

BUSINESS ENGLISH: British or American(USA)?

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on February 26, 2011 at 4:39 AM Comments comments (1)

Hi, everybody! This is Mister Morris, your language and culture guide. How are you doing today? Are you enjoying the day? I hope so. I am having a great time teaching English to friends and colleagues.

Many people ask me: Mister Morris, what's the best way to speak English? Is it with an American accent or a British accent? I think this is a very interesting question, indeed. But my answer to this question is quite simple:

use the English that you feel the most comfortable with!

You don't have to sound like an American when you're speaking, you don't have to sound like a British person when you're speaking, as long as you feel comfortable with the way you use English, that's the most important thing of all.

The purpose of language should be to express, not impress.

Naturally, it's important the other person understands what you're saying, so don't worry too much about sounding like somebody else. Don't try to copy somebody else's way of speaking. Certainly you can learn from others, and then adapt it to your own style

What you have to do is develop your own way of using English. Don't forget, English is an emotional language, it's a personal language, it's a language that you use to express the way you feel, so, please don't worry about sounding like somebody else.

Use English as you´d use your own language, in your own way to express the way you feel. So, you don't have to sound like Mistermorris, you don't have to sound like some American, you don't have to sound like anybody.

What you have to sound like is: you!

Cheers!

mm

The DNA of Effective Management : The 16 Building Blocks

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on September 27, 2010 at 5:11 AM Comments comments (4)

What do effective managers do?

I believe they essentially do two things extremely well: 1) they motivate by example and 2) they manage consequences for productive and unproductive behaviors.

In dissecting these " two  things" (which I call the double helix of management), I have found found that they are linked by 16 well known vital components or building blocks that impact managerial success.

I thought that it would be helpful to take these 16 building blocks, analyze them and combine them to create a curriculum to develop healthy, effective managers. Naturally, I realize that there is no such thing as a management success panacea/single formula: these are just 16 links I find to be present in the DNA of the effective managers with whom I have worked and with those with whom I continue to work;  so I have created such a workshop in an e-learning format and already delivered it with very positive results; Clearly one could add or delete according to organizational/cultural/personal/development needs. 


THE DNA OF EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT: THE 16 BUILDING BLOCKS

 Understanding the Management Matrix (The How[Outcomes]and What[Behaviors])

• Recognizing Behavior vs. Non-Behavior

• Managing Consequences (Categories; Effects; Sources)

• Unleashing Discretionary Effort

• Evaluating Performance

• Giving and Receiving Feedback

• Setting Clear Goals

• Our Intention vs. Our Impact

• Measuring Performance and Results

• Delivering Reinforcement ; The R Gap

• Reward/Reinforcement Traps

• Shaping Behavior

• Facing and Resolving Conflict

• Active Listening

• Public Speaking Skills

• Cross Cultural Awareness

 

 This is working; I would love to hear your views and experiences and feel free to share with others. Always take care and share

Writing Effective Performance Objectives

Posted by Maurizio Morselli on July 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM Comments comments (0)

Writing Effective Performance Objectives

 

Introduction

In most organizations, people are asked to write performance objectives -- for themselves and for others -- as part of their organization’s performance planning and appraisal process. It is an important directional compass. For some, this is a new experience. For many, it is a difficult one. The goal of this self-guided learning reference tool is to help make the task of writing Performance Objectives more informed, easier and more productive.

 

It Isn’t Easy

Writing good Performance Objectives is not easy. This is true whether you are writing them for yourself or for someone else. Getting at meaningful content for a work objective requires you to think at length and in depth about the work to be performed. It is unlikely that you will be able to sit down and dash off a set of finished objectives. Instead, you will have to write them, think them over, rewrite them, then rewrite them again. (Frankly, if you find writing good work objectives a very easy task, chances are you know something the rest of us don't and would you please share it?)

 

It Is Manageable

Although writing good work objectives is not easy, it is a manageable task. The function served by Performance Objectives is to clearly communicate (a) the nature of the work to be performed and (b) guidelines for determining if its results are satisfactory

 

Results Orientation and other qualities to strive for in writing Performance Objectives

Objectives must always be Results Oriented ; they must also be clear, measurable, and time-oriented.

 

Focus On Results vs. Activities

Whether routine or non-routine, recurring or situational, all work may be viewed as a process having a result. Results are the outcomes of activity, the effects of actions taken. Performance objectives should reflect, in measurable terms, the results expected, not just the activity to be performed.

Placing measures on activity is not the same as developing measures of the results of that activity. For example, focusing on keystrokes per minute is a measure of a data entry or word processing system operator’s activity. A useful measure of results might be the percentage of documents correctly keyed or typed.

What Are Results-Oriented Objectives and from where do we derive them?

All Performance Objectives are derived from a clear understanding of your Organizational Goals; they also derive from a process of reflection and analysis. Some of the more common areas or aspects of the workplace where reflection and analysis will yield objectives include problems, processes, practices and people.

Problems (Or, if you prefer, "Opportunities"): Although many people prefer to label discrepancies in results as "opportunities" instead of "problems," the facts are that the workplace is full of such discrepancies, no matter how we choose to label them. Discrepancies in results offer fruitful ground for the derivation and subsequent specification of objectives

Processes: Work processes also offer fruitful ground for deriving work objectives. This is particularly true regarding any kind of ongoing or continuous improvement effort. Consider the manager of a fairly sizable call center. Each year her objectives include one or more objectives related to achieving specific, measurable improvements in some aspect of call center performance.

Practices: Practices, also known as methods and procedures, offer a third area where reflection and analysis can produce meaningful objectives. These might quality as incremental improvements, work simplification or even that dreaded word, "reengineering." A simple example will illustrate the kind of payoff that can be found here. A manager whose unit periodically distributes printed materials to hundreds of sites throughout the continental United States (and overseas as well), was charged with reducing the costs of providing these materials. It turns out the materials were regularly reprinted and redistributed in their book format. A simple shift to loose-leaf binders enabled the printing and distribution of only the changed pages, greatly reducing cost and waste.

People: People, too, can be a source of objectives. For one thing, their developmental needs and requirements provide one source of objectives. For another, they can generate objectives related to other matters. In other words, people can set their own objectives. 

A Caveat About Measuring Work and Performance

You get what you measure. Before instituting measures of work and performance, you should think through the consequences of measuring what you contemplate measuring. If you do not, the results you get might be far removed from what you are after. For example, measuring average call length could indeed lead to reduced costs per call. But it can also lead to a situation where customer service representatives inappropriately cut calls short. Generally speaking, some mix of measures is needed to balance the pressures exerted by a single measure.

Identifying Results

To get at the results an employee is expected to produce, it is necessary to give thought to the outcomes or effects sought from the employee’s work activities.

Consider, for example, a few of the results a coordinator might produce: questions answered, data entered, errors corrected, materials shipped, and callers, potential customers satisfied (perhaps even delighted). A researcher’s results might be measured in terms of the number, quality, or value of studies conducted. A program director’s results might be measured in terms of the performance of the program, financially, operationally, or on both counts.

The attainment of results always consumes resources, either in the form of actual consumption of materials or simple wear and tear on technology, equipment, and people. The consumption of resources incurs costs. Work objectives might also reflect the cost of the results to be achieved as well as the results themselves. The results sought from operations/facilities/office managers might take the form of reductions in unit costs.

Use Common Sense

Temper the focus to view all objectives in terms of results instead of actions with common sense. It is indeed useful to think things through and make sure you are clear about the results to be achieved. On occasion, however, the result to be realized is the execution of a previously determined course of action. In other words, work objectives sometimes focus on the ends to be achieved, and they sometimes focus on the means to be employed. Ends and means are relative terms. The flawless launch of four new on-line tools/programs within a one-year period might be the end sought by an IT development supervisor but, for a senior/National executive, it is the means to new revenues.

The point being made here is that the content of performance objectives should focus on the work to be performed. Work is a process and it has a result. If the work is best expressed in terms of results, fine; if it is best expressed in terms of the process to be carried out, that is fine, too…as long as it produces tangible results.

A Process for Writing Performance Objectives

1. Spend some time initially thinking about  your organization's objectives and your work unit. What are the problems it faces? What processes are in need of improvement? What practices need review? What are the developmental needs and requirements of the people?

2. Think about what the person for whom the objectives are being prepared is to do. Here, you might be thinking about someone else or you might be thinking about yourself.

3. Draft a verb-object or action component.

4. Think about why that action is wanted. What results does it produce? What outcomes will it have? What effects will be created? Why are those important? What is their value? Will it bring us closer to a cure?

5. Modify the verb-object component, if necessary, to emphasize results instead of activity.

6. Think about ways of measuring the work you have begun to specify.

7. Draft some measurable standards the work must satisfy. How could you tell whether or not the work or results occurred? What is the measure of those results? Quality? Quantity? Speed? Money? Frequency? Ratios of some kind?

8. Specify some deadlines, time frames, due dates, etc., in which the work is to be accomplished

9. Ask the person who is to be accountable for meeting it what he (or she) thinks it means. Or, if you're writing them for yourself, ask your boss to tell you what she (or he) thinks it means.

10. Rewrite it again if necessary.

Summary

• Writing good objectives is not easy.

• Reconcile yourself to writing, reviewing, rewriting, and then rewriting again.

• Think of a good objective as having two components: a verb-object, indicating what is to be done, and a standards component, indicating how well.

• Work objectives may be broad or narrow in scope, short and sweet or quite lengthy, address financial or operational matters, and pertain to routine, repetitive work or to special, situational work.

• Work objectives may be solicited from the person who will be responsible for their achievement, specified by that person’s supervisor, or developed jointly by the two of them.

• The mix of routine and non-routine work should play a key role in determining the respective roles of the employee and the supervisor in determining the substance of the work objectives.

• In all cases, work objectives should be clear, measurable, time-tied statements of the work to be accomplished and the results expected from that work.

References
1. Drucker, P. F. (1954). The Practice of Management. Harper & Brothers: New York.
2. Mager, R. F. (1961). Preparing Instructional Objectives. Fearon: Belmont.
3. Odiorne, G. S. (1965). Management by Objectives: A System of Management Leadership. Pitman: New York.


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