Someone famous once said……What gets measured gets managed*.
I’m a big believer in measurement – I’m a performance specialist! If you want to be a high performing team, then measurement becomes your obsession.
High performance athletes measure everything – from their performance in their sport to how they live their lives off the field.
High performing teams also adopt effective measurement systems – and importantly, they think beyond the obvious business measures like sales, revenue, click rates and ROAS (return on ad spend). In addition, they obsess about the behaviours that leaders demonstrate that ultimately drive these outcomes. They focus on the “front end” of performance – how leaders manage their stress, communicate, establish relationships, set goals and collaborate with colleagues to get things done.
There are very few measurement systems out there that actually measure leadership mindset and behaviour. It’s important to measure these things – because they can change. Measuring personality, strengths, and traits is useful for building self-awareness, but you can’t change who you are. Your personality is fixed. What you can change, is how you express your personality in the unique context of your role and business. It’s not who you are, but how you are that impacts performance. And that is what can change with insight and coaching.
The Human Synergistics Circumplex is an effective measurement tool for mindset and behaviour in organisations. The Circumplex measures 12 styles of thinking and behaving, arranged into three clusters of styles – “blue” constructive styles, “green” passive defensive styles, and “red” aggressive defensive styles. We all adopt these 12 styles to varying degrees – they all get things done. But not all are equal in effectiveness. Typically, the more stress and pressure we feel, the more we lean into defensive “red” and “green” styles.
The “blue” styles are positively correlated with performance metrics like satisfaction, motivation, role clarity, stress, teamwork, inter-unit collaboration, and perceptions of quality. Blue is more effective – so the point to this process is to learn how to become more aware of your style (particularly your style under stress) and make a more effective choice.
By using the Human Synergistics (HS) measurement tools – leaders can self-assess and gain 360-degree (manager, peer and direct reports) feedback to gain a picture of their behaviour at work. Leaders can also ask people in the business to measure the culture – to what degree do they observe these styles of behaviour in the business. The HS tools have this edge over other tools that just report on engagement – they help us take a temperature check on behaviour – is our culture toxic? Passive? Aggressive? Or supportive, encouraging innovative and goal oriented? What does it feel like to work here? This is unique information that creates accountability across the business to building a positive and productive workplace environment.
A senior executive I’ve been working with over the past 16 months has just undergone two assessments using the Human Synergistics Life Styles Inventory (LSI) (the individual feedback version of the tool), 12 months apart. His observations of change in his LSI helped him understand how small shifts in his mindset and approach have positively impacted his relationships, sense of fulfilment at work and motivation to continue in a job that is highly demanding and dynamic. His made a profound realisation:
“I’m creating the environments that make me unhappy. I just have to change that. I need to create the opportunities where I can be Affiliative, Humanistic and Achievement oriented”
He has clearly realised that it’s up to him to construct his workplace experience. Culture doesn’t happen to us. We create it through our own mindset. As a senior executive with far reaching influence in the organisation – this is profoundly important to realise.
If you want to change culture and leadership – you must measure it. A leadership or culture program without measurement is not specific enough. Every individual in a leadership cohort must take personal responsibility for the impact they make on both the culture and the performance of the business. Having a tool that provides personal insight, learning, growth and accountability – like the Human Synergistics tools – is a powerful driver for change.
*If you’re still wondering – it was Peter Drucker.
Stephanie Bown is an accredited Human Synergistics practitioner and regularly integrates measurements systems in her culture and leadership programs. Reach out if you’d like to talk to Steph about how to Amplify Culture in your organisation.