Operationalizing and Executing Functional Strategy

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Development Activities:

       Ensure that your team a clear understanding of the organisation’s strategic focus, and
        the role your department and each team member plays within this broader context.
       Meet with your team to establish performance objectives for the year ahead, the next
        six months or an agreed upon time period. You may engage in a process similar to that
        described below:
       Brainstorm performance objectives
       Analyse each objective along the following lines:
            o How does this objective fit into the strategic direction of the organisation and the
                department you work in;
            o What are the necessary steps that must be taken to achieve these objectives;
            o Who are the key resources that may be drawn on to give guidance and input in
                the process of achieving an objective;
       o    Who are the key stakeholders that need to be informed of progress on a project?
            How will this take place?
        o What criteria, or standards of measurement will the team use to evaluate its
   Ensure that your team members/direct reports understand their own and other’s roles
    in the achievement of particular performance objectives.
   Ensure that they have an understanding of the extent of their responsibilities.
   Clarify that your team are aware of the parameters of a project they are working on,
    namely, the scope of the project, its objectives, the criteria that will determine its
    success, the relevant decision-making authorities, the allocated budget, and time
   “Know” the employees that report to you: ensure that you have a clear understanding
    of the job that the employee must perform, his/her ability to perform in that job/role,
    and the employees potential to develop in that position.
   Try to get involved in activities outside the scope of work where you have to delegate
    tasks effectively e.g. chairperson of a committee organising a charity event.
   Identify a current work problem that your staff are confronted with.
   Set up a brainstorming session to generate solutions and get them involved in the
    decision-making process as well as the implementation of the most appropriate
   Try to create opportunities for staff where they have increased responsibilities and
    greater autonomy e.g. let them stand in for your meetings.
   Ensure that you are aware of all the different development opportunities for your staff.
   Discuss personal development with staff using the structure and information as set out
    in this guide.
   Ensure that you are updated with all the opportunities that exist in Old Mutual for your
   Be a credible role model: ensure that your team views you as a leader who is
    committed to taking the team forward. Maintain credibility by:
        o Being knowledgeable about your field of work;
        o Keep updated with developments and trends that may impact on the operation
            of the business;
        o Act on what you say. If you say that you are going to do something, make every
            effort to do it;
        o Admit to your mistakes;
        o It does indeed take a “big” person to admit that they were wrong.
   Develop a style of leadership that you are comfortable with.
   Regularly evaluate the fit between your needs and your expectations of the team, and
    their needs and expectations of you.
   Negotiate adjustments that you and the members of your team are comfortable with.
   Create a sense among members of your team that you should be learning from each
   Meet individually with team members, on a regular basis to keep in touch with the work
    they are doing and to find out more about their learning needs.
   Emphasis to them that each member adds value to the team.
   Ask them to think of ways they contribute to the functioning of the team and the overall
    performance of the department.
   Remind them that they should be proud of the contributions they make.
   Schedule regular team meetings.
   Ask for ideas and inputs from all team members. Ensure that you utilize some of these
    ideas/inputs when making decisions.
   Schedule a team building session away from the office.
   Ensure that the team members are involved with group activities.
   Structure a project in such a way that all team members are sure of their own roles and
    contribution towards the overall objective.
   Ensure that all team members are clearly aware of their daily roles and responsibilities
    by agreeing on and discussing performance contracts and KPA’s.
   Ensure that the team has access to resources in order to assist them in achieving goals.
       Regularly communicate the teams/departments vision and purpose.
       Ensure that the whole team values diversity.
       Emphasize the value that the differences can bring to the team.
       Value diversity. Recognize that a diversity of experience and knowledge can only
        enhance the quality of teamwork.
       Try to Find ways to strengthen this in your team.
       Encourage staff to spend time reading and investigating an area of interest outside their
        field of expertise.
       Discuss with them what they have read or enquired about, and find out if their enquiry,
        in any way, may have some bearing on the work they do. Encourage them to think
        outside of the boundaries of their work life.
       Schedule a monthly meeting where each employee is invited to do a presentation on
        the work s/he is engaged in.
       They may use this time to share ideas and offer valuable insights into each others’
        projects. You will need to field questions about the project you are busy with; this will
        compel you to be up-to-date and well-versed on the nature of the project you are
        working on.
       Coach and develop others by asking the right questions.
       Instead of castigating an employee for making a poor decision, use this situation as a
        learning opportunity;
       Question the employee about the circumstances that led to such a decision being made.
       Explore with the employee, alternative decisions that may be made.
       Nonetheless, acknowledge the employees efforts in this situation and guide him/her on
        the path to good decision-making
       Ensure that you are updated with OMSA’s Core Capability and Competency Model.
       Ensure that you are familiar with the competency profiles of your staff.
       Find a mentor/coach who has a reputation for their commitment in developing others
        and try to pick up pointers for direction.
       When encountering a problem at work, try to involve the others in your department and
        facilitate a discussion on possible solutions, drawing on their ideas.
       Gain practice in giving honest, open feedback to others.
       Be knowledgeable about performance standards and if some people are performing
        below standard, arrange appropriate development opportunities.
       Encourage staff to take responsibility for their own development.
       Maintain an open door policy in order for them to share their ideas with you.
       Ensure that you are familiar with possible development opportunities for staff and
        communicate this to them timeously.

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       Awaken the Giant Within. Simon & Schuster. (Audio). (KNOWLEDGEHUB)
       You Deserve. Les Brown. (KNOWLEDGEHUB)
       Seeing red cars

Accredited Workshops:

       Performance Management
       Operationalizing and Executing Functional Strategy