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A Developmental CULTURE - Coaching Systems

Key Performance Indicators in the Capable Organization

T eaching, coaching and learning in every layer—led by senior leadership is the first measure. GE, Allied Signal, Intel, PepsiCo and Coca-cola are all examples of teaching companies. (Tichy & Cohen, 1998)

  • A developmental culture that can

execute teachable points of view

  • Innovation speed

  • Real time connectivity

  • Adaptive systems

  • Employee leverage

The real performance indicator for this strategic objective is ubiquitous information and the feeling that people can get what they need in real time without hassling with a bureaucratic chain of command. Feelings can be measured, just ask people!

In other words, if we continue to rely on trailing indicators, the horse will have left the barn before we shut the gate! If we don’t devise a system of leading indicators, then we will be one step behind the music in regards to attracting, retaining and utilizing employees effectively in a rapid-change environment.

INNOVATION SPEED - increasing the number of iterations


nnovation speed is difficult to measure. Yet the key is the nature of a company’s revenues and profits in new products, services and

relationships (3M mandates this ratio), and includes the number of old customers buying new products and services. How much of what we do today is reflective of what we have done yesterday? How much of tomorrow’s business is based on today’s innovations?

Failing to innovate fast enough can be a real problem in today’s market-space. In most cases, we can’t depend on tomorrow looking like more of today in a lot of industries. Sure we have those cash cows, but if you intend to attract capital, customers and relationships, you had best build in the capability to innovate quickly, and concurrently create permission to fail faster. Innovation is most often directly proportional to iteration potential. Anything within reason that increases the speed of iteration (by allowing successful failures) lowers the speed of innovation and cycle time, and increases organizational agility—the critical ability of the organization to realign itself in the face or environmental demands.

Real Time CONNECTIVITY - creating conversations, improving learning

eople are confused about what this means. Can you pick up the phone and talk to the end user of your product or service? Do you even know who they are? Does your web site measure statistics on the 5 W’s (who, what, why, when, where)? Are your teams connected? For example, is marketing connected to manufacturing (and I don’t mean at the hip) at the thinking and feeling levels as well—through a network of strategic conversations? P

Do you know what the effects of your work are having on the results of someone else? Can and do you build capability around response-ability…to customers, people who were your customers, people who aren’t your customers and people who could be your customers—internal and external? Improving the quantity and quality of conversations promotes response-ability. Can you execute your core competence in real time?

The edge of an organization is going to be determined by its conversations—internal and external—their quantity and quality. If we can speed up learning, increase the volume or improve the quality or our conversations, capability will be leveraged as learning and execution accelerate. Connecting communities of interest, practice and commitment into constellations of shared learning will precipitate real time connectedness.

The other key issue is network effects. The power and leverage of networks increases with the number of people in the network. Take this analogy. A single fax machine is useless, but to the extent that fax machines are ubiquitous, the network effect of using a fax machine is exponential.

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