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Aug 31 2017
Continuous Talent Development Through Leaders and Managers

“Beware of managers who stay in their offices!”  

This rallying cry from a manufacturing organization highlights the challenge of providing leaders and managers with meaningful ways to develop their people. An initiative labeled “Purposeful Presence” for managers in that organization sought to get them out of their offices and onto the floor with those who report to them.

A phrase from the management literature of several decades ago, Management By Wandering Around, so widely used that it became an acronym (MBWA), described a “best practice” of managers.  It encouraged them to interact with their people on a regular basis, observe them in their places of work, and provide support and opportunities for development.

While it might seem obvious to many that talent development should be part of every leader’s job, it’s surprising how often it is not.

What Can Leaders and Managers Do?

It’s surprising how few practical tools and processes organizations provide to their leaders and managers to support continuous talent development on anything like a day-to-day basis.

This poses the question: What can leaders and managers do to develop their people day-to-day, engage them in the mission of the organization, and continuously improve their results?

Two Essentials for Leaders and Managers

It boils down to two essentials, often lacking in the development of leaders and managers:

  1. How to describe the performance they want from their people in a crisp, actionable way.

  2. How to identify, arrange and revise conditions to ensure successful performance development.

Sounds simple, but why is it so often lacking?  And what can be done?

Practical Programs for Continuous Performance Improvement

That’s where our Coach-Manage-Lead family of programs comes in. Performance Thinking® programs enable leaders and managers to become active vehicles for continuous talent development while strengthening employee engagement at the same time. We teach how to use the Performance Chain model to clearly define desired performance, and to use the Six Boxes model to have conversations about current conditions and practical action steps to accelerate performance. 

Senior leaders and executives can apply the same models to execute strategy through people, create employee engagement plans for their organizations, implement and manage processes more effectively, and continuously improve results through the people whom they lead.

Our work for many years has focused on accelerating business results through the performance of people. We began over a decade ago with what has become our popular Six Boxes® Practitioner Program, a certification program that enables staff professionals in virtually any department to become accomplishment-based performance consultants. 

We’ve helped to develop teams of performance consultants in many organizations, some spanning locations across the globe.  They conduct projects to optimize performance and build employee engagement. The Six Boxes Practitioner Program has been successful, based on its simple models and plain language that make communication and collaboration between performance consultants and their stakeholders easier, quicker, and some describe as “viral.”

Empowering Leaders and Managers with Field Tested Programs

There are many more leaders and managers than there are staff performance-focused professionals. Consequently, we set out to enable leaders and managers at all levels to accelerate the performance of individuals, teams, and whole organizations. We envisioned this approach several years ago in a white paper.  And now we’ve got the goods! 

We’ve designed, pilot tested, refined and implemented our Coach-Manage-Lead programs in organizations with hundreds of leaders and managers. These programs offer a breakthrough in how businesses and non-profits can choose to deploy and develop their supervisors, managers, leaders, and executives as direct agents of continuous talent development.

A Foundation for Performance Focused Culture

Six Boxes Performance Thinking® programs can lay a foundation for a performance-focused organizational culture, enabling both line and staff to continuously improve the conditions for successful performance and employee engagement.

While this approach might seem obvious, it is surprising how rarely organizations encourage and enable their leaders and managers to develop talent as part of their day-to-day jobs.

Find out more by reviewing our white paper, taking a look at the product descriptions, and passing these things on to colleagues and decision-makers in your organization or in client organizations.

Stay in touch for a significant ramp-up this fall of blog posts, video clips, and other resources addressing issues of leadership, management, strategy execution, and continuous talent development.


By Carl Binder


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