Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Donna Butt/ performance-management strategy

Oct. 23, 2017 The Ladder: Donna Butt: Today I found this article in the Globe and Mail:

Donna Butt, 65, is a founder, executive and artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity, Nfld. Besides portraying the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, the theatre has been a major economic generator since 1978.

I grew up mostly in St. John's, with a strong sense of what being a Newfoundlander meant. My father was a railway dispatcher, very involved in politics and history. Our first Rising Tide show was Daddy, What's a Train? My father was involved in the battle to save the railway, outraged by the behind-the-scenes trade of rails for roads and way [workers] were treated. I saw the impact and got involved in all things Newfoundland.

I was political science student. I went with my friend auditioning for The Mummers Troupe, spring of 1973. I got the part. The politics drew me, trying to define our place and culture, art reflecting that. There was great loss – culture, identity and economics – because outports were resettled and the inshore fishery downgraded. We were passionately driven by our love of where we came from, part of the movement to reclaim the province. The place we came from mattered, was something to honour and be proud of – humour and tragedy.

Basically, we lived in an old bus and toured the province. My parents were horrified. We were the first generation to be able to go to university. I'd always done well in school; they had high hopes and expectations. Despite that, they never missed a show, ever. I have an honorary degree now; I told the students, "Your parents only had to wait four years, mine had to wait 30 years."

They Club Seals, Don't They? played across Canada, a delicate time in 1978 due to worldwide protest of the hunt, garnering massive media attention for the tour. I left in 1979 to form Rising Tide in St. John's with David Ross [who died in 2009]. Trinity had an active historical society starting restoration, so we developed an outdoor historical play. Moving there, people were horrified and skeptical, had no idea what in the name of God we were going to try make happen. That summer, 1993, everybody we hired for our New Founde Lande Trinity Pageant had been working in fish plants and so on.

We were early pioneers of cultural tourism. About 40 work in a population of 169; we rent houses and the parish hall. We have a significant economic impact, built a permanent home and have 20,000 visitors annually. We're trying to walk that line recognizing the value and importance to the community and region – to have voices ring out on the landscape and seascape and contribute economically to the province. Luckily, I'm interested in those things. I've been involved in a lot of regional economic development organizations because they genuinely interest me.

All kinds of business grew alongside us. Now, this whole region is a major tourist destination. There are amazing things happening, amazing accommodations and restaurants, a new brewery, some of the best hiking trails and historic sites. Trinity was a large mercantile centre in its day, so a lot of buildings restored were remains from merchants and the money taken out of Newfoundland. Our story – and pageant – is exactly the opposite, about those who stayed.

I tell the young people I hire, when we were their age, we were really interested in talking to older people with different experiences; we went into communities, talked to miners, people who fished and lost everything.

The model we developed could be used anywhere. That sense of wanting to belong to something is universal and you can make that work if you have a strong concept. [A visitor] told me our story of inshore fishing was like what happened with farms in Saskatchewan.

Business and non-profits need to be in the same room figuring out how to make both work. Sometimes non-profits are taken for granted; it's going to be harder to dedicate a lifetime to them. I ran a non-profit company so I own nothing. I can't retire. If someone really dislikes me, I say, "Give me a pension, get rid of me."

My life, in a strange way, has been to bring elements together. I felt there was a way culture, history and economics could matter. When I look to the future, and in my stage of life, about what I can do to ensure this [the theatre] survives, what's been created can continue. It will ultimately change, but I want to make it as strong and stable as it can be when it passes into other hands.


Oct. 28, 2017 "How effective is your performance- management strategy?": Today I found this article by Bill Howatt in the Globe and Mail:

Chief research and development officer of work force productivity at Morneau Shepell in Toronto

On a scale of one (low) to 10 (high), how effectively does your current performance management help you professionally?

Most organizations use performance management to align a person’s goals and objectives to the organization’s, the end outcome being to maximize employee performance, engagement and results.

Organizations that have figured out how to make performance management work right for them report significant financial results and improved customer service and engagement over their competitors.

Traditional performance-management systems facilitate a formal annual performance appraisal where the employee and manager review the past 12 months. Some models also include semi-annual or quarterly goal setting and check meetings.

More and more organizations are evaluating the effectiveness of their performance-management systems. Deloitte reported in the Harvard Business Review that it was dropping its traditional model. Many others are reporting similar decisions.

The challenge with traditional performance-management models is that they can breed a pass-or-fail mindset, with the focus on getting a passing grade.

Performance 2.0 is a human-capital model that turns its focus to performance and results achieved through a highly interactive process.

The leader’s role in this model is not management; it’s facilitation of performance. Dropping the word “management” puts the primary focus on performance, the goal being to create a level playing field where the employee and manager can focus on obtaining results rather than passing.

This new model’s primary purpose is to move from static to interactive conversations that promote learning and growth. It appears 69 per cent of millennials think the annual performance managing model is flawed and are looking for ways to receive meaningful feedback, development and growth.

This framework outlines elements that move to a balanced two-way accountability model that focuses on promoting continuous growth over the entire year.

Performance 2.0 success requirements

Senior leadership has determined that manager-employee interactions are critical. There is no more important relationship than the employee manager relationship. A manager’s effectiveness is determined by their results and how successfully they influence their people’s behaviours and outcomes on a consistent basis. The manager’s time can be occupied by technical, financial, process and operations issues that can take the lion’s share of their day.

In one organization, the average manager spent 95 per cent of their time on technical and operations issues and only 5 per cent focused on employees’ needs, development gaps and acknowledgment of good work. The time spent with employees was primarily focused on correcting or asking them to do more with less.

These changes need to be recognized by senior leadership and it should be made clear to managers that spending time with people is of value to the operation. When managers spend quality time with employees – with encouragement from senior leaders – this facilitates trust, creating winning teams and results. Manager-employee staffing ratios need to be realistic A 15-to-1 ratio is most likely as high as a manager can go to interact and communicate with and support a group of employees effectively on a monthly basis.

Managers who are expected to do performance management with 50 employees are engaging in an administration checkbox process, as there’s no time for meaningful interaction, reflection and relationship building.

This model’s success requires a minimum of 10 per cent of the typical manager’s time each month to focus on their employees. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it has a massive, positive impact in relationship building, trust, growth and discretionary effort by employees, as they are grateful that the organization is investing in them.

Performance 2.0 in action

Following is a snapshot of some elements of Performance 2.0. The focus is on high levels of interaction, coaching, learning and engagement. Every employee is provided an opportunity to focus on their needs at least once a month.

People time: The primary goal is to increase the number of employee-manager interactions and communications that are relevant to the employee. A 12-month structured calendar:

Every month, a goal is framed for all employees in the organization to focus on with their manager. Managers are provided with a calendar and materials that can be used to facilitate each of the monthly conversations. This allows the organization to facilitate performance one conversation at a time.

Managers’ training: Every manager is trained to facilitate this model. There’s no assumption that managers have the skills to build trusted relationships or to facilitate effective employee-manager meetings and influence employee motivation, behaviours and performance.

Organizational aggregated results: The model allows for scoring that can act as a pulse check for where the entire organization is monthly with respect to impact and results. As well, annual metrics can be obtained for benchmarking. Organizations can use technologies to facilitate a model such as Performance 2.0 to make reporting seamless and easy for all involved.

Employee drives the structured meetings calendar: Each employee is accountable to set their own monthly meeting with their direct manager and to have their dates booked three months in advance. The meetings are typically anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and the goal is to be focused.

Real-time interaction: This model promotes real-time learning. In addition to the structured monthly meetings that are meant to be the minimal interactions, managers are encouraged to focus on providing real-time feedback, support and acknowledgment.

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