After conducting the HPO diagnosis, we often see that organizations need an effective way to follow up on the HPO focal points and to get the transition started. An example of an effective approach is to work with High Performance Organization (HPO) Leaders or Coaches. Using this approach, we recently gained experience at two internationally operating companies, which we gladly share below.
HPO Leaders within an international retail organization
The first company is an international retail organization, whose various country organizations enjoy a high degree of autonomy in policy and practice. After the HPO diagnosis, the ‘high potentials’ on the management team level within these country organizations were invited to attend an HPO Leaders Program. The goal of the HPO Leaders is to coach the management team in maintaining focus. This focus must be on those actions and initiatives that actively contribute to contending with the HPO focal points. Every quarter, the HPO Leaders meet to share knowledge and learn from each other. In addition to being a coach, they also serve as an expert on the HPO themes, so that they know exactly what the themes entail and will be able to carry out the next HPO diagnosis personally in the future, rendering the results even more the ‘property’ of the organization.
HPO Coaches within a British government program
The second organisation is a partnership involving a number of organizations that are carrying out a complex program for the British government. After conducting two HPO diagnoses, an HPO Coaches program was established and individuals on the team leader level who are closer to the shop floor were invited to take part. The goal is to have at least one HPO Coach for every group of 50 individuals for every geographical location. The goal of the coaches is to link the HPO concept at the workplace to practical problems and spread the HPO principles like an oil slick. A group of 100 HPO Coaches are currently active in this program from the various organizational units and geographic teams. Just imagine the enormous impact of such a large group of experts!
What does such a session look like?
The first session of the HPO Leaders or Coaches Program revolves around one of the HPO focal points (improvement themes), such as “dialogue”. This theme is then carried through every section of the session. The session starts by familiarizing participants with the HPO concept. This is followed by self-reflection and getting to know the group and honing individual roles and results. After this session, various supporting arrangements and workshops are organized in order to share knowledge and become more effective in fulfilling the relevant role, the ultimate goal of which is to make the transition to an HPO. Every subsequent session focuses on the details of an HPO focal point for the organization and on reflecting on and learning from practical situations.
The greatest advantage of this HPO Leaders or Coaches approach is the high degree of ownership on the part of the organization to carry out the improvements (instead handing over the ownership of the implementation process to external parties). Another advantage is that the organization learns to implement improvements more effectively. This is possible because the HPO glasses are worn continuously and focused on those aspects that will genuinely help the organization to perform better in the long term.
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