Blog #5 – Processes
We are now well into this series of blogs about Performance Climate System (PCS) and its analysis of a concept we call organisational ‘Climate’. In Blog #2, we defined climate in some detail. Throughout these articles we are exposing the climate value chain between leadership shaping climate, and climate driving team performance. Underpinning that sequence, PCS explores six fundamental aspects of leadership. Today we look at the last of the ‘transactional’ elements…Processes.
Processes: replicable activity that leads to sustainable and consistent performance
Examining processes is to look at the ‘How’ of team performance. Every team will have its own ways of working. What matters is that they are effective and efficient. In this newly imposed phase of geographically dislocated working, getting this right now and for the future couldn’t be more relevant. The most significant process within team effectiveness is how well the team communicates internally and externally. Performance Development is also vitally important; how is performance recognised, monitored and measured?
Back to Dr Bruce Tuckman’s “Stages of Team Development” model that I introduced last week, establishing and sustaining strong processes aligns with the Tuckman’s ‘Norming’ stage in a team’s life-cycle.
In analysing Processes, PCS breaks the domain in to three components:
Processes & Procedures: By this, we mean the standardised ways of working that enable consistent and effective task delivery. More deeply, PCS examines what processes are required to deliver optimal team performance and whether any existing processes are having the opposite effect? Again, with new methods evolving during this pandemic lockdown, the opportunity to re-calibrate processes is compelling. PCS analysis considers where processes could be improved or augmented or reviewed. It also covers whether decision making processes could be optimised.
Communication: How information is passed within the team and to other stakeholders. The PCS evaluation looks at a team’s communication processes and the leader’s own communication methods. It questions what needs changing and how ‘good’ can be sustained. In the highest performing teams, it challenges whether individual communication styles can be accommodated to really optimise cohesion and performance.
Performance Development: How individual and team performance is developed, managed and improved? PCS considers: is there an effective process for developing performance; does the leader discuss it regularly with individuals; how do you define what expectations and success look like; how is both positive and negative performance managed; how to empower personal ownership of performance development; are appropriate real-time feed-back loops enabled?
Having considered all those points, if Processes are optimised, based on a solid structure of roles within a team, oriented upon a clear set of Goals, then you should be well on the way to cultivating a high climate score. You’ll consequently lead or be part of, a high performing team. If you know, or sense that is not the case, perhaps this is the time for reflection and action before 2020’s new visions become hindsight.
Toby Ellison, May 2020