With Six Disciplines, your employees can track and update the progress of their plans, goals, and performance results at any time, on any device. Your managers can easily set up multi-rater feedback for their team members, resulting in more meaningful one-on-ones, and more engaged employees.
Six Disciplines enables performance management and coaching to be both team AND employee-driven. This approach drives engagement, motivation, and ultimately improves organizational productivity with more consistent execution of your strategy.
The Advantage of Continuous Feedback vs. The Annual Performance Review
Many organizations have experienced the dysfunction of the once-a-year performance conversation, and they're increasingly ditching this traditional practice. The “once and done” annual performance review event is being replaced by an ongoing and more real-time stream of feedback between employees and their managers. This can take the form of weekly team check-ins, quarterly one-on-one check-ins, and multi-rater feedback, which recasts the annual performance review to be developmentally focused - not performance- or compensation-focused. With Six Disciplines, your organization gets the best of all three worlds: continuous feedback, multi-rater feedback, and annual performance reviews, which are focused on future performance and leadership development – not past performance.
Shifting From a Performance-Based Review to a Development-Focused Review
Because feedback is delivered continuously under Six Disciplines, the previous annual performance review process can now shift to a capabilities and skills development process of your employees. Since less time is required to review the past, the dialogue between manager and employee becomes more forward-thinking, future-focused, and career development based.
The Importance of Employee Coaching vs. Managing - Continues to Grow
In the recent article “The Future of Performance Management Is Not One-Size-Fits-All” Amy Herrbold, Senior Director of Organizational Development at Kellogg:
“advocates for organizations to develop coaching cultures, where leaders are equipped to serve effectively as coaches for their team members. Furthermore, Herrbold feels that it is imperative that organizations need to be able to, “adjust goals, actively work priorities and calibrate on expected outcomes to manage work effort and remove bias in favor of the facts.” By clearly linking peoples’ individual goals and priorities to the larger strategy of the organization, leaders help drive value-add performance and feedback. Coaching conversations can then be grounded in activities that align with the culture and realization of that strategy.”
With the advent of more frequent feedback comes the requirement for a new set of management skills, including new employee coaching techniques, focused on challenging team members to take on more responsibility and accountability. Six Disciplines offers your organization leadership development coaching to take advantage of this new change in the performance management industry.
The Changing Landscape of Teamwork
Regardless of the type of industry, the majority of work today is accomplished by groups or teams of people working together. Your teams are typically not static, and many times they’re cross-functional. Increasingly, your teams include people who are not even employees of the organization. Regardless, the agility of your entire organization depends on the ability for teams to communicate and collaborate effectively to both “run the business” and “change the business” at the same time. Developing self-leadership capabilities within every individual is a key requirement to facilitate effective teamwork. That's a key differentiator - and advantage - of the Six Disciplines approach.
The Significance of Leadership Development Within Team Management
Since most work is accomplished in teams, it’s important to give clear responsibility, while monitoring progress of your team members and the team's progress overall. Three types of leadership skills (process leadership, functional leadership and change leadership) are all essential skills required to manage teams effectively. Six Disciplines coaches works with leadership teams at every level within your organization to ensure these leadership skills are developed and maintained.
The Changing Importance of Quarterly One-on-One Check-ins
Recent research from Bersin by Deloitte clearly indicates that organizations that review and revise goals more frequently outperform those that don’t. Part of this process is developing leaders and employees who understand how to have meaningful and constructive one-on-one conversations about performance. Today’s leaders must develop the attitude that it's their responsibility to develop their team by providing objective and continuous feedback, asking probing questions, and building a supportive and transparent working relationship with each employee. Six Disciplines recommends frequent one-on-one conversations between manager/leader and employee - and supports it with mobile performance management software that get the job done.
The Proven Advantage of Weekly and Quarterly Team Check-ins
The purpose of weekly and quarterly team check-ins is to be proactive in identifying changes in plans and incorporating the latest information into your executing plans. The weekly check-in also creates a platform of mutual accountability for staying focused on what’s important and catching problem areas early. The weekly check-in is not to be confused with the outdated “status update” meeting, but rather depends on each employee to think through what the most important things are to get done in the upcoming week.
Goals Management: An Integral Component of Performance Management
Effective goals management is the foundation of determining and communicating organizational priorities. It requires your entire organization to agree on a common way of defining and communicating the status of goals, or what many organizations call “OKRs” (Objectives and Key Results). OKRs have become a popular technique for setting and communicating goals and results in agile organizations. OKRs' main purpose is to connect the organization with team and personal objectives to measurable results, enabling individuals to move together in the same direction.
Equally important in goals management, however, is to focus on what the most important priorities are by keeping the number of goals to a vital few. This also helps to separate goals that are part of a person’s ongoing responsibility from those that are driving change initiatives. For most individuals, it requires less effort to track activities related to ongoing responsibilities. It’s the change initiative goals that require extra focus because they require different communication paths and coordination to get projects completed.
Connecting Employee Goals to Organizational Outcomes – The Science and Art of Alignment
In-depth research from Proudfoot clearly indicates as much as a third of and organization’s resource don’t contribute to its overall strategy. Effective resource utilization requires both a comprehensive strategy and an agile execution management process (like Six Disciplines) that helps individuals align themselves to organizational priorities daily. This connection to purpose is vital as individuals and teams adjust to changing conditions.
The End Result: Organizational Agility and Improved Performance Management
For organizations to thrive in today’s fast-paced environment requires a strong long-term strategy combined with extreme agility in changing short-term tactics in pursuit of vision. The formula for doing this requires strong leadership from self-leadership to strategic leadership. We liken this to a business operation system or an "air traffic control system" for coordinating arrivals and departures, where pilots and crew have the authority and responsibility to both understand what it takes to fly AND land the plane safely.
By using the combination of the Six Disciplines repeatable methodology, performance coaching, performance management software, and leadership development, Six Disciplines helps to build your organization into one that will execute your strategies, and gets your where your want to go.
How Continuous Improvement and Organizational Learning Are Tied Together
People and organizations need to be constantly learning in order to thrive. What is sometimes not as obvious is the need to learn how to work together to get what’s important done each and every day. The ability to work together requires skills in defining strategy, managing change, project management, team management, and leadership in every role in the organization. Because successful organizations grow, there is constant pressure on learning to work together because the organization is changing so fast. Without a systematic organizational performance management program like Six Disciplines to manage this process, organizations soon outgrow their own ability to execute consistently.
Tracking Progress as Part of Performance Management
The legendary leadership author Stephen Covey references the all too common scenario of being “too busy driving to get gas”. This is sometimes our attitude in sitting down and thinking proactively about what is important each week, and evaluating whether we are advancing on our most important priorities. The discipline of communicating what you are working on and how it's progressing is essential for effective teamwork. In the software industry, if organizational execution problems are spotted early, it costs less to fix. If spotted later in the process, it costs much more to do something about them. And so it is in YOUR organization - that's where Six Disciplines makes the difference!
Multi-Rater Feedback and Performance Management
Every employee has multiple “customers” – their immediate manager or supervisor, people who use the output of their work inside and outside the organization, those who they work with to get projects done, etc. One of the best ways to measure your progress in self-leadership development is to take advantage of Six Disciplines multi-rater feedback surveys, given to a number of people who have a variety of perspectives of your performance. This takes courage to ask and to solicit constructive feedback, it takes an investment of time to provide that feedback, and it takes openness to process the feedback to advance your development.
Competency Benchmarking and Ongoing Performance Management
Building an agile execution-oriented organizational culture requires strong leadership capabilities including self-leadership, change leadership, cross-functional leadership, functional and strategic leadership. Because this kind of development is important, but often not seen as urgent, it gets pushed aside with other priorities. Six Disciplines integrates competency development and multi-rater assessments of each individual’s progress to maintain professional development as an important objective which has an added sense of urgency as well.
Performance Management and Six Disciplines
Building an execution-oriented organizational culture can be a daunting task because it requires so many different capabilities – strategy formation, change management, operational alignment, execution management, continuous improvement, organizational development, leadership training, technology, etc. To save time and cost, Six Disciplines integrates these components so the same goals/plans that are used to describe ongoing responsibilities, as well as the vital few change projects, and the check-in information are maintained continuously for each individual. This integration of strategy and execution management with performance management accelerates learning and reduces time and effort.
Why Use Six Disciplines for Performance Management?
What makes Six Disciplines unique in managing organizational performance is that Six Disciplines is an excellence program that supplements performance management software with a strategy execution methodology, professional on-site coaching, and integrated leadership development. All these capabilities are not needed all at the same time, but they are available when you need them, and are designed in an integrated way with performance management to save you time and money in the future.
The Six Disciplines Approach to Performance Management: Is It a Good Fit For YOUR Organization?
Here’s the big question: Do your existing systems and processes (including the performance management process) help get you from where you are - to where you want to be? The best way to find out is to have a conversation with one of our certified Six Disciplines coaches, so we can understand your needs and answer questions you have. The only thing we can promise is that after understanding your situation we will tell you with all honesty whether we believe Six Disciplines is a good fit for your organization.