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Right People, Right Seats Starts with These Questions

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Author - Jerry Olson - Jan 2018

Right People, Right Seats. You’ve heard it over and over but do you know what this short phrase really means? Understanding how this concept affects your business is pivotal in accelerating your organization forward, reaching your long-term vision and building value. Right People, Right Seats is not simple. Finding a great candidate for a currently open position is a short-term action with a long-term impact. This is not what the phrase is all about as Jim Collins so eloquently described in his book, Good to Great. Look at your long term vision which should always include a people strategy that is “built to last” beyond your tenure. This is how a business builds value, strength in culture and longevity, as well as brand in the market place.

It’s a simple concept to help you achieve business success. Unfortunately, very few organizations execute this effectively. Success in getting the Right People in the Right Seats requires understanding and disciplined implementation of five simple strategies: Vision, Values, Accountability, Metrics and Feedback. Looking at these points from a strategic perspective, you have two angles from which to work. First, break down Right People, Right Seats into strategic questions. This is to establish your foundational philosophy and beliefs and should be a part of any strategic planning process. From this vantage point, your organization must then ask questions that will focus on execution, moving toward action-oriented questions.

Vision

The first step is a clear vision of the future. But how will that vision be executed? Start with these questions:

  • Where are you taking the business?
  • What are your foundational beliefs around people who work within your organization and how does that belief affect your end-user, the customers you serve?
  • Is the preferred future clear to you?
  • How have you recently communicated it to your team? How clear has this vision been?
  • Do your team members share your vision? What is your belief about others providing input to your vision?
  • How have team members communicated it to others? And how would you like it to be communicated going forward?
  • Are the people in your organization on the road with you moving toward a shared Vision? Do you know? If not, how will you find out?

Values

  • What are your core beliefs?
  • What do you value as you pursue your vision?
  • What behaviors demonstrate those values or beliefs?
  • Are these values, beliefs, and supporting behaviors clear to the rest of the folks in your organization? How can we clarify and support company values and best behaviors?
  • Are your team members bringing these values to life throughout the organization? What would help to bring them to life?

Accountability

  • What are the few key things you are accountable to deliver to the team and the business?
  • What are the few key things each team member is accountable to deliver?
  • How are these accountabilities kept at the top of the priorities list for each person?
  • How does your leadership enable your team members to prioritize the work each week?

Metrics

  • How do you measure progress toward your vision?
  • What are the key metrics that indicate your organization is, in fact, moving towards it?
  • Are these key metrics being communicated to your team?
  • What data is being used to measure employee progress?
  • What does this data say about your progress? And how often should you analyze and evaluate in order to stay ahead vs. fall behind?

Feedback

  • What feedback do you give your team individually?
  • What feedback do you you’re your team collectively?
  • What type of feedback motivates positive changes in each person?
  • How would you like to see each team member give and get feedback on their progress?
  • How do you talk with your team about behaviors, performance, and progress? And what is the expected outcome?

If your answers to these questions are less than you hoped for, you can start making changes today in any of the five areas. Resultants For Business’ work with business owners has proven that disciplined focus on these simple concepts can improve your results, change your organizational culture and make work more fun as you collectively grow the business. For more information on how RFB can help, contact me at Jerry@theresultants.com.

Author, Jerry Olson, is an experienced Business Advisor and Human Resources expert.  Connect with Jerry and other RFB® Business Development Advisors here, or on LinkedIn.

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