Client: “My team need training.”
Me: “No, they don’t!”
Actually, they did, but I was being provocative to generate higher-level thinking. That’s because training is part of the journey, not the destination, and this client was stuck thinking down in the weeds.
Suppose we apply a product-focused or outcome-oriented approach in this example. In that case, the team must be competent, not just trained. Often and rightly so, training is a crucial element of developing competency. However, competency comes from more than just training. That’s because knowledge is not understanding.
Maintaining an outcome focus moves us away from a lower-level activity view. This results in us achieving what we want versus looking back at being busy and not achieving our goals.
Delivering the desired business objectives is considerably more achievable if we focus on outcomes. It is true if you are looking for competent team members, want to add new product functionality or make any organisational improvement.
A simple place to start is to ask the question, “What does that get us?”. Often used several times, this question enables you to chunk up and realise the outcome you are trying to gain, which allows higher-level thinking on achieving the outcome and aligns the doing to something of value.
In the client training example, we worked through this approach and identified how to achieve competent team members. Yes, they needed training, but they also needed time to practice, with a lesser output of work for that period. They also wanted an expert on hand to provide guidance and coaching when they got stuck.
Stop and step back the next time you see yourself stuck in the weeds of activity and consider the desired outcome.
Moving to an outcome-oriented execution approach makes delivering results more straightforward and measure your progress too. We typically implement this with our clients. If you would like to discover what this could mean to you and your organisation, please get in contact to start a conversation.