Jim Collins in Good to Great reinforces the importance of having the “right people in the right seats on the bus” within your organization. Strong team members bring specific knowledge, skills, and experiences to the team, while great organizations intentionally develop learning and leadership experiences long after great hires are made.
“Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. Great leaders work through other leaders, who work through others. Leadership is about multiplying your efforts, which automatically multiplies your results.”
― Andy Stanley, Next Generation Leader
Taking the time to review the key roles annually and the month-over-month job responsibilities protects the organization from a sudden departure. Similarly, it provides genuine insight for the adult learning framework used to develop staff throughout the organization.
The Adult Learning Framework outlines key capabilities and builds the training plan to expand capacity for full staff and leaders, and intentionally develops the next level leaders. The plan hardwires the development needed to sustain a strong culture that aligns with the Nine Principles of Organizational Excellence. Additionally, it outlines specific job skills and the capabilities needed to sustain effective teams, solve problems, remove barriers and sustain the improvement processes driving organizational excellence over time.
Having skilled staff at every level leverages team capacity so that everyone functions at a higher level. No one is left to “carry the load” because it is easily distributed and better balanced across team members. Also, each employee, regardless of where they sit in the organization, will feel valued. The principles of trusting front line decision making and developing leaders at every level of the organization are not just words on a poster. Instead, organizations that take succession planning and adult learning seriously demonstrate them daily. The “feel” of the organization will shift. The staff will know that leadership values their input, understands the complexity of their work, and cares enough to sustain competent team members in every division and level.
The top 20% of performers are confident and ready to actively engage. In organizations committed to ongoing development and leveraging leadership from within, retention of top performers remains strong. They are actively engaging in leadership within every role. They engage in improvement teams and leading key projects. Leadership isn’t a job title. It is a behavior that needs to be valued and nurtured. Additionally, career progressions become natural because the staff positions internal candidates well as opportunities open. Capability multiplies capacity, staff members function at a higher level, and the entire organization thrives.