“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Antoine de Saint Exupery
This is one of my favourite quotes; it is a great reminder that to achieve anything, including success in business, it is much more than just a task. It reminds me of the importance of creating a vision, planning and most importantly inspiring, motivating and engaging my colleagues.
It is widely accepted that there is correlation between the impact of leadership and the bottom line results. Even in tough times, good leadership can translate into business success. The question that we are often asked by Leaders is, “what do we need to do to create or improve the leadership within our organisation.”
Over the last 4 years we have been working with business leaders and managers to improve their confidence and capability to deliver greater results for themselves and for their business. Over this time we have created a framework; the Advance Avatar that is delivering fantastic results. This framework identifies the 6 critical parts that make a business successful. The 3 essential must haves; Business Strategy, Commercialism and Change and the 3 enablers; Leadership, Relationship Management and Emotional Intelligence.
Many organisations use Employee Engagement Surveys to assess engagement and alignment. Sometimes, the information that is most valuable to the organisation is that which is not disclosed, either through non responses or through apathy. We use the Advance Avatar as an energising and engaging way to collect qualitative data on the perceptions of the leadership team and also a representative sample of employees. This creates two, sometimes very different, perceptions of the organisation. It is the gaps and differences that create thought provoking and stimulating discussion within the Leadership Team and informs a robust action plan.
The Advance Avatar also provides the framework on which to base Leadership and Management Development Programmes. We have developed a skills based management development programme that lays solid foundations for great management. We have also developed a leadership development programme that is an advanced programme and stimulates and challenges the leaders to consider how they lead in each of the 6 critical areas and also overall. The feedback on these programmes has been fantastic!
We formally launched the Advance Avatar yesterday at a breakfast event in Edinburgh. We used this opportunity to showcase how we use the Advance Avatar as a team building session. Our guests had a fantastic time, hooking ducks, choosing sweets and going to a library in a short fun filled session. The energy in the room was fantastic and at the end each guest had an avatar of their organisation. The overall feedback was that is had been a great experience and fun but more than that allowed the opportunity to stimulate thinking about the strengths and limitations of their organisation. The bigger questions that our guests took away to consider was;
would their colleagues and teams create the same avatar?
is the avatar that they created the right one to deliver the future plans of their organisation?
The Advance Avatar is a fantastic diagnostic. Over the coming months we will be hosting other events to outline the benefits of the Advance Avatar. Please do get intouch if you have any comments or feedback or if you would like more information.