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May 25 2018
More from Harvard Business Review

In the latest issue of HBR there's an article called Managers Can't Be Great Coaches All By Themselves.  I can't help but think of our Six Boxes® Performance Coaching as big solution for the issues they raise.

The first thing that pops out is the idea of the "Connector Manager" as someone who helps her people connect to other resources, mentors, tools, and other sources of performance support and development.  This is critical, since performance occurs in a system and we need to align the parts.

In our work, the Six Boxes Model provides a great way to frame and align all those enablers that the Manager or Leader can connect for their people in pursuit of talent development or performance improvement. The Six Boxes Model is a simple and comprehensive framework for thinking through WHAT factors to configure to get the best out of our people – both high levels of performance and increased employee engagement.

Beyond the Connector Manager, the shared models and language of Performance Thinking offer a leader or manager and their direct report a way of partnering to develop or improve performance. This is in contrast to the manager "doing something to" the person – coaching them.  This is about continuous, collaborative performance improvement. Our approach encourages individual contributors to become full partners in their own and their teams' development. Individuals often generate the best ideas for what accomplishments (work outputs) to prioritize and what behavior influences to eliminate, configure. The Performance Thinking conversation captures and leverages those ideas. And an organization that supports such a process can leverage those ideas to help others perform better and enjoy higher levels of engagement.

Finally, a shared language and thought process focused on valuable accomplishments needed by the business provides a vehicle for agile talent development at the point of performance.  This allows development to turn on a dime, relatively speaking – compared to the sluggish annual and quarterly reviews and learning plans still used in many organizations. The traditional approach can't keep up with change. The Performance Thinking mindset, shared across an organization, creates a culture of performance quite different from a manager or leader "being a coach all by one's self.  To borrow that old phrase, "it takes a village."  It takes a system. It takes a whole organization.  A shared framework can generate ROI simply by aligning the performance enablers in an organization more cost-effectively.

With the 2 simple models and 21 plain English words of Performance Thinking® programs, a Leader-Coach, supported by efforts to nurture a collective practice of collaboration, becomes a point of contact with the whole system to accelerate organizational results through people.  

- Carl Binder, CEO

 

 

 

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