I recently completed my 2nd Virtual Follow Up X-Ray. It was another Stage 5 company and there were 12 participants. I followed the exact system I had used with my first virtual follow up and it went very well.
In this email, I want to share with you some of my thoughts and ideas on this new way to deliver the X-Ray.
As with the in-person X-Ray, preparation is critical. I made sure I selected dates well in advance to ensure total participation. Once I had the commitment from the CEO and the team, I immediately sent out the Zoom invites for all the sessions so they appeared on each person’s calendar.
The Booklets were critical. While I decided on the spiral bound, you could also use a ½ inch binder which might be less expensive and easier to manage. I charged my client for the cost of those booklets.
I prepared the group for the next session by encouraging them to go over the results in the booklet. With Padlet.com, as I mentioned, you can send the team a Padlet that they can capture their own thoughts on. While I didn’t do this, I did send the CEO my Areas of Focus Padlet showing the 14 issues I had captured during our two sessions. That was very helpful as we met prior to the last session and reviewed them. He had me add one and combine another one with something else.
Listening to the recording each night is how I captured the issues. A couple of the issues I captured came from what I heard between the lines and added to the list of areas of focus. These again were reviewed with the CEO before the final session.
NOTE ON RESULTS: Overall, this company experienced incredible movement in all areas of the Builder/Protector and the Non-Negotiable Rules. In the B/P, some Builder scores moving from 60 all the way up to 75. Moving from 80 to 92! In the Protector scores, most were above 30, however, we saw those scores move from 73 down to 66; 52 down to 43; 60 down to 43. There was much discussion about their successes and with the follow up X-Ray this is a major area of focus. You want to help them celebrate the work they have done over the past several months.
Their NNRs for Stage 3 went from 53% complete to 72% complete. For Stage 4, they went from 48% complete to 68% complete and for Stage 5, they went from 50% complete to 65% complete. Huge gains in understanding and awareness of the critical areas that needed their attention and focus. And they delivered. During the ‘revelations’ discussion, most everyone indicated they were impressed with the work they did, how well they focused on the issues that were addressed in December, 2019 and how the results showed up in the assessments.
I came up with 14 Areas of Focus vs. Initiatives and here’s why. You can handle this piece differently depending upon your approach. My goal was to encourage the team to integrate these areas of focus into their ongoing discussions. Instead of turning them into initiatives as we did with their first X-Ray, I worded them as areas of focus. Once I went over the 14 I had uncovered, I asked two questions:
- Did they agree with what I had captured?
- Did I miss anything that needed to be added?
In this case, everyone was in agreement with the 14 (in fact one individual had written down his top five based on our discussions and he said I had captured all of his). This was encouraging as the most important step in this virtual process is to capture what was said since you aren’t there to validate each one.
I read all of the 14 and we talked about each one and why it showed up.
On the fly, I decided to go ahead and have them select their TOP 5. My thinking was it would be good for them to walk away knowing which of the 14 made the top five list.
I gave them time to think, and then went around the ‘room’ asking for their top five. I encouraged them to explain their choices. At our break, I calculated the consensus of which of the 14 made it to the top five.
For the next interaction, I asked for their ideas and input on what they will do going forward to stay focused on those top five, while still considering all of the others. My message to them was this:
While these are not set up as initiatives, they have great value as each one can have a positive effect in three areas:
These were three words mentioned throughout the sessions and I used these three words to show how the 14 areas of focus will improve accountability, communications and setting clear expectations.
Here were their top five Areas of Focus:
#1 Strategic Plan – bring the focus back on this for the planning process going into 2021. Make sure you are challenging current beliefs.
#2 Improvement – How do we know we are getting better? Ensuring that we are completing initiatives and that they are effective.
#3 Company Accountability – How do we make sure we are staying on top of customer requirements, deadlines, budgets and schedules?
#4 Processes – Review the 14 Master Processes. Which ones are critical for us today?
#5 Staff Satisfaction – What are we doing every day to improve staff satisfaction? Staff engagement? How can this benefit us? How can this focus help improve profitability?
I will continue to stay in touch as I do with all of my clients.
Could I have set in place another 6-month contract? Probably. Will I find other opportunities to work with this client? Possibly. I have in mind following up to see what their interest in the Profit Zone program might be.
This is program sends the message: ‘Zeroing in on Your Company’s Profit Zone helps each employee understand how, what they do every day, impacts the bottom line’. Some of our conversation indicated this could be an area of interest. I’ll keep you posted!
I will complete a follow up report and capture the salient thoughts, discussions, revelations and list all of the 14 areas of focus in order of priority. I’ll include my recommendations for how to ensure they don’t lose sight of those areas of focus.
I hope you’ve gained value in my experience with a follow up X-Ray. I know there will be other great examples of companies going through a full X-Ray online and I hope to share those experiences with all of you.
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!