You generally don’t get in a car to go somewhere without a plan. As obvious as it seems that an organization should have clarity on what they are trying to achieve in the next several years and a plan on how to get there, many don’t. Strategic thinking and creating a strategic plan is a higher level of work and a much needed skill for most organizations, but one of the least common skills leaders possess.
Good strategic plans requires the ability to look at something from a systems-level perspective, ability to look longer term, ability to drive decision making, and then channel that into a plan with good metrics. Essentially this work is about orchestrating a series of expansion and contraction exercises to determine the path. What is the market doing? What are the competitors doing? What are our unique market opportunities? What do we have as enablers? What are our headwinds? These plus many more, are all various elements that you should wrestle with in crafting a strategic plan.
Whether it be McKinsey Consulting or Vijay Govinjarajan, we’ve had the real pleasure of working with great experts along the way to develop our thinking and skillsets.
We’ve developed a strong ability to:
We know what good looks like in this area and have produced it with many clients. Let us help take the complexity out of this important organizational tool.
"Over the last nearly 20 years of working with organizations of all sizes and industries, I have never been more impressed with an approach to talent management as I have been with the the systems that Kim Janson has installed. Practical, insightful, simple and yet immensely effective; Kimberly's designs and her leadership have benefitted all levels of the organization. She is an impressive professional and I am so glad she has shared her work so others can experience her models."
Dave Mitchell - Founder/President, the Leadership Difference, Inc.
Our behaviors are based on our beliefs. Beliefs/values drive our behaviors. When people come together and have a shared set of shared sets of beliefs, that’s what creates culture. We are very skilled at helping organizations identify what is important to them and driving agreement in what those values are. We are also skilled at helping organizations operationalize those values into behaviors and tie them into many people processes such as performance management, individual assessment, recognition, etc.
The trick (often not done or not done well) is for organizations is to come together and agree on what their beliefs should be, so they then are able to create the culture they desire. Culture will develop with direct influence or by being unmanaged. Bad culture comes from unmanaged behaviors and unexpressed ideals layered over with a lack of accountability.
We know how to create the right communication cadence to evolve an organization towards the desired culture. We help managers get skilled at having tough conversations to address behaviors that are counter-cultural. Our work can involve surveys, focus groups, interviews, large group facilitation, coaching, teaching, and advising.
We are very proud and honored to be part of so many success stories that involved turning around cultures to make them their competitive advantage.
A very senior Global HR Leader once said, "The HR and People Development Functions are like cobbler’s kids. They take care of everyone else and leave their own improvement and effectiveness to the bottom of the list of things to address."
He was right!
We help integrate HR into the business while assisting in upgrading their subject matter expertise and skillset.
Learning this at the Bank of America, business results are significantly and positively impacted through a strong HR and People Development Function. Kim has built top teams in multiple organizations and has created these functions from scratch, implementing programs, practices, systems, and talent to make the functions a strategic competitive edge.
Work often gets done individually or in silos in an organization. It’s difficult to have a perspective on everything that is happening. A result of this is organizations become complex. There is redundancy. They become slow. They become inefficient. We tend to add work, not replace it, or change it. We rely on old ways of working rather than ask ourselves periodically, “Is this the most efficient and effective way to do this?”
We work with teams and organizations to become much more efficient and effective. We determine what you are trying to achieve and how you are currently going to achieve it. Through analytical skills and clear thinking, we can examine and help reduce complexity. Objectivity and experience in helping organizations be nimbler give us an edge in helping you do this work.
This is done by looking at workflows, hosting brainstorming sessions, conducting interviews, doing time studies, observing how the work is done, asking great questions, and other techniques; we can provide a lens that is often different than that of the people doing the work.
Most people can’t work any harder, but this is a way we can help them work smarter.
An experienced executive once said, “Virtually every acquisition starts as a financial proposition. But once the papers are signed, it becomes a human transaction. The way human beings behave in the two companies determines whether the financial gamble pays off.”
The reason most mergers and acquisitions fail is due to the people component.
Plan the Work/Work the Plan.
A great integration plan is key to making them work. Our work starts with determining what success would look like and the metrics that will tell us we are on our way. We also look heavily at employee engagement and monitor it closely.
We help identify the right talent, shape the culture, determine new ways of working, develop high impact communications, define and cascade leadership expectations. We start with a cultural assessment so we can measure progress 90 days into the effort to be able to accelerate or course correct.
We help realize the potential that was identified for the M&A transaction in the first place.
The people leading organizations are often experts in their area of subject matter, not experts in organizational effectiveness or design, so it makes sense that so many opportunities would exist to work more effectively.
We work with leaders to determine what is working and not working as compared to what they are trying to achieve. We help teams re-think how the work is getting done and better ways to do it. We combine our expertise in organizational effectiveness with the subject matter experts in business and together produce high performing entities. In several cases, we have assumed leadership responsibility for those entities as we work to rebuild them or bring them to a higher level of effectiveness. We help drive the tough decisions and right actions that make functions or teams incredibly powerful.
Our results of being able to quickly immerse into an entity, understand it, identify ways to make it better, and then drive the needed change have been celebrated by many of our clients. Working with so many organizations in so many geographies and industries gives us a wealth of perspective that your team, function, or department could use to your benefit.
Succession planning should start with the strategic direction of the company, followed by answering the question, “Who in our talent pool can help us execute against this strategy?” It’s important to do this work to be able to identify and leverage both top talent and high potentials and to create engagement for them. There are many people who feel underutilized and under-challenged in their organizations, and this work helps solve for that. This tried and true approach to managing the business is often underdone or not done at all in most businesses.
It’s best to have an orchestrated approach to talent planning to focus the right level of attention on the activity. After all, you’re laying out the key components that need to be implemented for the business to thrive in the future. Data should be gathered, and people should be engaged in discussions, summaries. Plans should be documented, and discussions should be organized. The challenge is that people in charge aren’t often skilled enough to be doing this work.
This work should involve several parties. Engaging senior leaders makes for powerful succession planning efforts. Managers should be working with their employees to understand what’s important to the employees in terms of their career development, and they should be keeping key employee data updated. HR should be collecting information in preparation for leadership discussions. Leaders should plan for conversations with each other to determine answers to key organizational development questions. It’s important to assess and plan at the function level, the position level, and the employee level, and work all three into plans that are interconnected.
We are masters of doing this work. Simplicity is key. We help make sense of it all and enable it to be a difference-maker.
The most powerful learning for people is that which is most relevant to them. Adults learn better when they can draw from their experience and apply it directly.
With degrees in teaching, organizational development, business and over 25 years of practical experience developing learning solutions, we are terrific at creating curriculum. We’ve created curriculum for many clients in a wide range of content areas. We are very skilled at helping leaders become teachers but receive tremendous praise ourselves for our strong facilitation skills.
We provide a range of support:
Creating the framework for a program
Creating the entire learning solution with participant materials, leader materials, etc.
Teaching others how to train the curriculum
Training the curriculum ourselves
Coaching post program
Measuring the impact
From start to finish, our solutions help develop skills and knowledge important to the organization. We utilize the major concepts in Adult Learning Theory and offer several mediums such as lectures, workshops, practice, online, etc. and make sure it is interactive and enjoyable.
Learning is a science in which we have deep proficiency. Let us help create something that works for you.
Often leaders know organizations need to improve, but they don’t know where to start. A needs assessment is a powerful way to determine where you are, where you want to go, and the road map that will get you there. It’s the best way to address areas of opportunities while minimizing time and cost. This work is about “going slow to go fast."
Needs assessments involve working with key individuals in the organization to determine the current state. This often includes interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Trends are identified and summarized for analysis. Simultaneously, data are analyzed, and discussions are had to determine where the organization is going. This can be in the form of strategy, organizational values, key priorities, etc. Facilitating leadership discussions and decisions and creating communications to engage all stakeholders is a big part of this process. The real value comes in working with organizations to develop a plan to address the items that would help close the gap. It’s the best way to determine the highest use of time and money and to realize the evolution you are looking to make happen.
It’s a very special skill set that makes for a good needs assessment. You must be able to extract information from people, you need to be able to analyze data for trends, you need to be able to help envision where a company wants to be, you need to be strong at crafting communications, you need to be able to help leaders make decisions, and you must be great at planning and executing a project. Our assessment and diagnosing skills are unparalleled, and these unique skills and deep experience make needs assessment a core competence for Janson Associates.
Ready to learn more about how Janson Associates can transform your organization? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with President and CEO, Kim Janson
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