High performance culture

High performance culture – how do you generate one?

High performance culture

Improving business performance

High performance culture – performance is key to your organisation’s survival.  You cannot afford to under perform.  But how do you generate a high performance culture? 

Here are some tips!

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organisation must be committed to a high performance culture. If necessary, they must be prepared to change to ensure this. The performance management framework  must operate throughout the organization from top to bottom. Those at the top need to model the desired behaviour.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning should be positive. But it must also must be realistic if a high performance culture is going to exist . Be clear about what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications. If you invest in training, how will that effect your business plan? Once plans and priorities have been established, they need pervade the organisation. Your plans need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans. These need to be throughout the organisation. Can you see the the organisation’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated. This should be to all staff and contractors supporting the organisation. Think about what really matters. And focus on measuring the essentials. Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures? Follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.  You need to understand the effect of changes in levels of performance on the services delivered to your customers or users.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organisation’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and individual performance objectives. This will usually be by using your existing performance appraisal and staff development processes. Individual plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART. That means;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

Is the existing performance management system for your staff  up to the job? If not, take some advice and change it. See Paragraph 7 below.

6. Develop an internal communications’ approach

Effective messages should target your intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you. So, develop a plan for how you will use different media to target various communities within the organisation using for example:

  • Email
  • Intranet (inside the organisation)
  • Internet
  • Newsletter/house magazine
  • Notice board
  • Team briefs
  • Video and in-house TV (you can even use YouTube.)

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to tell you what they think. This can be on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to

  • Set objectives,
  • Identify support needs and
  • Measure progress against objectives.

For it to work effectively, the system must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires:

  • Managers have access to guidance. And the training needed to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • All employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to help them engage fully in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important. They set the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs) should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Sometimes performance will not meet the required standard. You will need to identify what is getting in the way. Don’t assume anyone chooses to perform poorly. Put in place a plan to deliver improvement and give support. The principle is the same at both the team and individual level. So you need to have clear procedures for dealing with poor performance.

10. Recognise and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognised and rewarded. Recognising performance should include sharing success stories. And share the knowledge gained across the organisation. Highlight how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

Working with an executive coach really can help you get your organisation to perform well. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organizational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Performance Management

Performance Management

Performance Management

Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Performance management – lots of organisations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people question whether carrying out annual performance reviews actually impacts on the quality of performance.

Let us think a little about the person being assessed. What do they usually think about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be.

What your employee thinks about before their performance management review

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

But if you think about it.  These questions don’t reflect why, as a manager, you carry out a performance review.

What you are concerned about is;

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

You are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. How do they become more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happy in the job?

Given the difference in perspectives, holding one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet your purpose or theirs. Surely what you need instead is a relationship and structures that support an ongoing dialogue?

No you don’t want spend every day discussing performance.

There is much to be said, though, for commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly, where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix, has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year, it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship, and  having an open discussion about the quality of performance is works. It is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works (and a well developed relationship), it becomes much easier to discuss career development. You can consider together opportunities for career progression. Threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues. Everyone benefits.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership! The team behaviour theories of  Tuckman and leadership theories of Hersey and Blanchard plus Adair can be brought together to into a simple model. This will show how different Leadership styles are required across the life cycle of an activity as illustrated in the diagram below.

The Cycle

Life cycle leadership
  • At the start an activity, task or project , the individual, team or group can be confused and uncoordinated! 
  • The leader needs to be more directive; focusing on the task at hand. They promote ownership by the individual or team member and encourage their confidence. 
  • As the team develops, the leader focuses on coaching. This to to get the group into agreeing how they will behave to complete the task! They sort out how they will work together
  • There may be conflict. If so the leader uses a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. 
  • As the individual or team becomes more confident and self-managed, the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style!
All this leaves most leaders with a challenge. ‘How do I develop the competence and confidence to use a wide range of leadership styles?’
Well, you could start by following our series of posts on the team development work of Dr Tuckman. Here is a link to the first post;  Forming the Team: Tuckman Part 1 

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

This is a new version of a very popular post on this site.

I’ve written a lot about how teams behave and my approach has been based on Tuckman’s Team behaviour theory – you can find links to these articles at the bottom of this post. Tuckman’s approach and the leadership theories of Hershey-Blanchard and Adair can be brought together into one simple model.

This shows how different Leadership styles are required across the life cycle of any group activity.

  1. Telling – at the start an activity, task or project, the individual, team or group usually know little about what is required of them and they can be confused and uncoordinated! Generally, they lack the specific skills required for this particular piece of work and they may not know each other. Lacking knowledge and confidence, they are anxious and unwilling to take responsibility for the task. The leader needs to go into “Telling” mode. This means being more directive; focusing on the task, promoting ownership by the individual team member and promoting their confidence. This Telling stage is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task.
  2. Selling – as the group develops, the leader focuses on coaching to get them into the delivery stage! They agree how they will behave to complete the task! But in doing this there may be conflict and a leader may need a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. They are still not able to take on responsibility; but, they are willing to work at the task. While the leader is still providing the direction and focusing on the task, he or she is now focusing as well on individuals using two-way communication – listening as well as giving instruction. The leader provides the coaching and support needed to help the individual or group buy into the process.
  3. Participating – as the individual or team becomes more confident and self managed the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style! The team are experienced and able to do the task but may still lack the confidence to take on full responsibility. There is now shared decision-making about how the task will be accomplished and the leader generally provides far less instruction, concentrating instead on strengthening bonds and commitment within the group.
  4. Delegating – when the group is fully mature, the leader is still involved in decisions; but responsibility for how the task will be accomplished has been passed to the group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. But the group are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing not only to do the task, but to take responsibility for its completion.

I have described the stages in terms of group behaviour but the same cycle is seen in the development of individuals when they take on a new role.

No one style is right for any leader all the time. Good leaders need the confidence to be flexible, and to adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led.

If you would like support in developing your own leadership style, get in touch – my email address is below.

Want to be a Confident Networker? Join my free teleseminar on 26th June 2012

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy’s earlier articles on how teams behave

  • Team Work; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning with Dr Tuckman
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming,Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 5 – Managing the Adjourning Stage

Dealing with a failing employee

Dealing with a failing employee

So you have a failing employee! You have someone in your team that you think is letting you down. You can see that things are not working out as you expected. They’ve been around a while and things used to be fine. Now it is clear to you and other people that all is not well. What do you do?

First establish the facts. What is the evidence that performance really has changed and can you be certain that this team member is at fault?

Talk to the employee. Explain your concerns and any performance information you have gathered. Ask for their perspective.

Be fair, be open and be prepared to listen.

  • Do they accept that performance has fallen?
  • Are there factors inside or outside the organization that are affecting their performance?
  • Is there a health or family problem?
  • Do they understand the standard you expect?
  • Are they prepared to make a change?
  • Are there changes that you or others should and could reasonably make that will mean performance improves?

If the failure is down to the employee and there are no extenuating circumstances, within the bounds of employment law, you have choices to make. Much will depend on the reaction to your intervention.

If the employee accepts the failure and makes a commitment to improving their performance , apart from monitoring, there may be nothing further you need to do at this stage.

If performance does not improve, you will need to intervene again. You may need to coach the employee for a while and arrange some further training.

If that fails, you may need to impose closer supervision and move into disciplinary procedure and possible dismissal.

What matters most is that you intervene early – don’t let a bad situation just get worse.

  • Act early
  • Act always in good faith
  • Be willing to be open minded.
  • Collect evidence and be objective
  • Be clear about the standard you expect
  • Check that the employee understands your expectations
  • Reward progress with praise.
  • Keep records through-out
  • If you do have to dismiss, make sure it  comes as no surprise

But it is in your and their interests to give them a fair opportunity to make an improvement. Bringing an employee back on track is good for them, it is good for you and it is certainly good for the organization in terms of morale and use of resources, provided your intervention is in proportion.

Dealing with failing employees is never easy and the more prepared you are the better.  If you are a manager struggling with failing employees, a management training course or advice from a coach or mentor can help you learn the skills you need to really excel in the workplace and deal with all kinds of challenging situations.

If you need to the support of a coach in dealing with a failing employee, please get in touch

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com

Great group – sad about the leader – mood contagion.

A Mantled Guereza, close-up, looking sad

Mood contagion is the automatic and unconscious transfer of mood between individuals.

It occurs because we tend to mimic others’ nonverbal behaviour.

Research has shown that intense moods are more likely to be transferred.  Joy or distress are more likely to be passed on than calmness or boredom.

Although mood contagion can transfer between any two or more people, leaders probably have an even greater impact on their group mood.  This is because of their importance to the organization.

If you, as a leader, can’t regulate your emotions,  members of your group might often experience stress and anxiety.  This is both in trying to cope with you as the leader and in dealing with the tasks at hand.

Leaders in a bad mood don’t need to be abusive or hostile!  Their mood needs only to be negative. Research shows that even subtle expressions of negative mood can have an impact on followers.

This raises all kinds of issues in the present economic downturn!  This is a time when we all feel miserable sometimes.  But you as a leader have to work to manage down the impact of your own feelings.

Think about those leaders who handle a crisis well. Do they manage their mood and communicate clearly while creating a safe environment for their employees? Or do they just let it all hang out and then deal with the casualties?  Who would you rather deal with and what kind of leader do you want to be?

Remember when you feel down you need to

  • Recognize that your mood will an impact on your group
  • Work to reduce that negative impact
  • Intentionally change your mood – there is a technique at this link that you can learn for this.

I would welcome your thoughts on all of this and your tips for handling your own feelings.

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 or 

Turn, turn, turn! Knowing when to leave

Dandelion clock

“Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There Is a Season (Book of Ecclesiastes via Pete Seeger and the Byrds)

All things change!

We all have special moments when we are truly happy. So happy in fact, that we want that moment to last forever.  We all have other moments that are so dark that time seems to stop – but it doesn’t.

One of the great lessons we learn is that time moves on and everything changes.

This is a true at work as much as in our private life.

We move into a new role or start a new project full of a mixture of excitement and trepidation.  We need to learn a new team as much as the technical elements of the work and the corporate culture.

We go through an adventure, reading the corporate map – which parts we can afford not to visit for a while and what others need urgent attention?

Just at the point when we think we know how it works we discover something staggering that we can’t afford to ignore.

The challenge is exciting.  There is work to do and people to lead who need our special skills and our particular vision.

Time moves on and the organization becomes our own!  But there are still challenges out there, new problems to solve and new horizons to look for.

Time moves on again.  We get to a point when we no longer need to look at the map, or even open our eyes, to know how to get where we want on that particular turf.

Nothing surprises us anymore and for us the task is complete.

What we are bringing now doesn’t have the same energy and excitement about it. We know the organization under our leadership is on the right track but we would rather think about things outside than inside it!

We feel we have stopped learning and we no longer inspire!

It is time to move on.  We know the organization needs something better and so do we!

So we plan our exit carefully as we would any project – we still care for this organization and its people.  We develop an exit strategy and we manage it.

We do all we can to help them find a  successor while we explore that opportunity that gave us such a buzz when we discussed it. We tie up the loose ends and move on.

We have done our best for the organization and ourselves.

Where as if you ignore the signs and hang around – oh dear!

You’ve seen them haven’t you – the Wednesday golf is far more important than the corporate vision!

Do you want to join them?

Then be prepared to turn, turn, turn and know when it is time to leave!

Autocratic Leadership – Leadership Styles

Autocratic Leadership – Leadership Styles!

Leadership Styles – is there a time and place for the Commander?

Casualty (series 4)

When I was a young nurse, autocratic leadership was still common.

It was the very early seventies. In those days, in Nursing, you learned to take orders and, as you gained experience and position, you learned to give them.

No, you didn’t shout like a drill sergeant!

You learned to use a certain tone in the voice that didn’t invite questions or equivocation!  All who joined the organisation and expected to thrive learned to comply – they gave their consent.  Some left pretty quickly!

Even then, times were beginning to change and by the time I left nursing, there were very few real autocrats still around.

Today, it is hard for me to remember what it was like to be part of such an organisation.

But there were occasions when an autocratic approach and the ability to command were invaluable; for example in a real medical emergency.

We were well trained and in most  emergencies everyone knew what was expected of them and slotted into their place.  The leader gave the orders and, in those circumstances, we obeyed. I saw several lives saved as a result of our ability to act as one body and give our consent to be led without question.

But it put a huge responsibility on the leader!

Leadership is awe-inspiring

When I found myself leading the team, I found it awe inspiring to have someone’s life in my hands.

I had authority, but I had responsibility as well and I was accountable for the decisions I made.

I was grateful for my training and I was very grateful for my team and the relationships we had built up outside of the emergency situation.

Yes I am sure there is still a place on some occasions for the Commander and an authoritative style of leadership!  But without the consent of a good team built on participation and engagement, with real relationships and care for each member, I’m sure no one achieves great things.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Do you wear a mask at work? Can you be yourself at work or even at home?

I’ve always had a dilemma!  I have spent much of my life trying to reconcile the needs of my interesting and satisfying professional life as a manager and consultant, with my spiritual and creative life as a seeker and a poet! For many years, I would rarely let my work colleagues know anything about my other interests!  Even now I exercise a degree of caution in who I tell and how! But life running my own business does mean that I have greater freedom to make my own choices! I was lucky, as I say above I enjoyed my life as a manager and I now enjoy the work I do as a consultant.  I could express myself in both my worlds!

But there are many who are far less lucky than me! Some of us cannot be ourselves at home, let alone at work!  And there is a penalty to pay from the time we spend adapting to meet the needs of others; time we spend pretending to be someone we are not! We can damage our health far more than we probably realise!

Dr Katherine Benziger is a pioneer and leading expert in her field. She has given three decades of teaching and research in psychology working to help people understand, value and use their own and other people’s natural gifts! Her work has focused on the proper and ethical development and application of personality assessment in the global business environment. Significantly, Dr Benziger prefers the term personality assessing, rather than personality testing, to describe her approach. She is keen to distance herself from the ‘personality testing’ industry, which puts the needs of the organisation ahead of the individuals who make it up!

Dr Benziger believes, in simple terms, that there are four different areas of one part of the human brain (the processing section or neocortex) that equate to four different types of human behaviour.

SENSING/BASAL LEFT The fundamental goal of the Basal Left/Sensation Type is to have the fullest possible experience of what is immediate and real, in order to be able to produce dependably. For this reason, the Basal Left is said to contribute or be responsible for the productive foundations in life.

FEELING/BASAL RIGHT The fundamental goal of the Basal Right/Feeling Type is to create harmony, connectedness and good will in the community. For this reason, the Basal Right is said to contribute or be responsible for the peaceful foundations in life.

INTUITION/FRONTAL RIGHT The fundamental goal of the Frontal Right/Intuitive Type is to discover the furthest reaches of the possible, in order to perceive new patterns, invent new solutions, or solve “theoretically insurmountable” problems. For this reason, the Frontal Right is said to contribute or be responsible for the adaptive in life.

THINKING/FRONTAL LEFT The fundamental goal of the Frontal Left/Thinking Type is to create rational order and make sound plans and decisions based on logical analysis. For this reason, the Frontal Left is said to contribute or be responsible for the Directing or Prioritizing function in life.

She believes that each of us is born with a hard-wired connectivity in one of the four areas which usually leads to how we interpret the world around us and how we react to it.  It results in personality styles, thinking styles, behaviour styles or communication styles.

Dr Benziger’s work has focussed on the common tendency of people in work, whether being assessed or not, to adapt their natural thinking and working styles to fit expectations of others.   This can apply both at home and at work! It can be a particular issue for women as many of us strive to be good partners, as well as successful mothers and supportive carers for our elder relatives! The result is tension and stress.  People become increasingly unhappy and ineffective, if they behave in unnatural ways! Much of Dr Benziger’s work focuses on dealing with these issues and the costs of this pressure to adapt.

Dr Arlene Taylor has been a leading specialist in ‘wellness’ since 1980, and has collaborated with Dr Benziger for much of that time.  Arlene Taylor’s work has confirmed, and builds on, Benziger’s observations about the cost of adapting!  Her work has included identifying anecdotally a collection of symptoms. The complete family of symptoms which Dr Arlene Taylor identified within PASS (Prolonged Adaption Stress Syndrome), as linked to Benziger’s work the “Falsification of Type”, are:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Hyper-vigilance
  3. Immune system alterations
  4. Memory impairment
  5. Altered brain chemistry
  6. Diminished frontal lobe functions
  7. Discouragement and or depression
  8. Self-esteem problems

So what does this mean for us as leaders and managers of groups of people at work? Remember that any personality assessment or psychometrics test can be skewed!  This is particularly likely if someone is practised at falsifying their type and spends their time continually trying to be someone they are not. Don’t rely solely on the results of such tests when you are recruiting. Get to know the people who work with you, and for you.  Make sure they know that you value difference in your team!  Don’t put pressure on them to confirm to a stereotype – value the differences between them!

We need to recognise that we are cannot all be good at everything and it is legitimate for us to do less well at some things and better at others! It is also OK for us not all to like or want the same things!   Don’t increase the pressure with unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. Be aware of the people around you and learn to recognise when they are showing the signs of stress!  It could be that they are trying too hard to live up to your expectations and that is causing the problem!  Make sure your expectations of yourself and others are legitimate and that they are reasonable!

You can find our more about Dr Benziger and her work at this link.

Out-sourcing – how to be good at it!

In the present climate the pressure to seek value for money through out-sourcing is stronger than ever.

Yes, you can save money but getting the full value from your outsourced service and making sure that it supports your business in the way you intended is complicated.

The financial benefits alone are often not properly understood.  The results of research by Warwick Business School working with IT group Cognizant showed that less than half (43 per cent) of all CIOs and CFOs have attempted to calculate the financial impact of outsourcing to their bottom line let alone determined the real value to their organisations. They don’t know the real value and it is doubtful that they are getting the outcomes they expected!

Here are some steps you can take to ensure you achieve real value from your out-sourcing activity.

1. Know why you are doing it

Don’t out-source just because the competition does it!

What do you expect from the service and what resource will be available to support it?

Can you specify what you need and will you be able to measure and monitor it when it is delivered?

Have you got experience of managing outsourced services or can you afford to buy that expertise?

How essential is this service to your business operations?

Can you afford to take the risk?

2. Be systematic but keep it simple

Work out a strategy for out-sourcing that your organisation can cope with!

If you are new to out-sourcing don’t go for a complicated strategy that involves many suppliers.

If you go for a complex supply chain, you will need to know how to manage it

If you go for multiple suppliers, you will need to know how to coordinate them

Start with a single and relatively simple business function and a single supplier and build from there.

Gain experience as you develop the approach

3. Know how you are going to measure and monitor

Many companies rely on service level agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are crucial to outsourcing arrangements but you will need more than a traditional SLA if you are interested in business improvement!

Measuring against an SLA will tell you about delivering the status quo

Most SLAs will not tell you if the service is really delivering benefits and the right outcomes to your operation!

You need to focus on business improvement rather than just service improvement processes!

Determine what evidence of success and the right outcomes really looks like and use it!

Use industry benchmarks IF they are useful to your business

4. Invest in the relationship for long-term value

Demands and expectations change over time!

This can lead to disagreements with your supplier which can erode the relationship

Agree at the start how you will recognize and respond to changes together

Share information honestly between you

6. Be an intelligent client

Don’t hand all your talent across to the supplier with the service

Keep enough expertise available so you can talk intelligently to your supplier about performance

Keep enough expertise to cope with changing your contractor if necessary in response to supplier failure or market changes

Keep enough expertise available to cope with business innovation.

Be honest with your supplier about your expectations and your customer base

But be prepared to learn from your supplier

You can find this as a slide presentation on LinkedIn at the following link  http://slidesha.re/hc0HyK