The AirTight Organizational
Build a World-Class SMB Team
In the last century the science of management has evolved dramatically. In the industrial age old school Theory-X (1960s), for factories and the industrial age with strong hierarchy and command and control worked fine. As the information age blossomed Theories Y and Z (1981) for managing a higher mix of professional and white-collar workers was needed.
In the last three decades management has evolved further by using more technology, not just for communications but also to allow for more virtual organizations, globalization, outsourcing and real-time project management. In addition we now have proof of the effectiveness of collaborative management and many other High-Performance Team (HTP) best practices.
Combining these methods properly can dramatically improve organizational effectiveness, growth rates and create sustainable competitive advantage. Also approaches like open source software and even collaborative content development (I.e. Wikipedia) have created new ways for organizations to tap the collective wisdom, knowledge and skills of larger and more dispersed professionals.
Benefits of Our Integrated Development Program
a) Create a culture which is consistent with the company’s strategy, mission, value proposition and brand
b) Improve manager performance, which has high ROI and leverage when using proven High-Performance Team (HPT) best practices
c) Increase average tenure of the top people who need to grow professionally to move up and stay long-term
d) Increase ability to attract top people who see a career path, not just a job
e) Avoid political issues and group think by using an outside vendor who has no other interests or focus and can manage the program
These programs must have full support from the CEO down, with long-term commitment to succeed. We will not accept any engagement without a one year minimum term and the signature of the CEO of the organization because there is a high likelihood of failure without this level of support. This must be a commitment to change and constant improvement of the culture and company. It is working “on”, not “in” the business.
A growth company, or any company that wants to be a market leader, must invest in developing both its managers and the organization’s infrastructure to support growth. Favorable market factors always change but a high-performance culture creates sustainable competitive advantage by capitalizing on innovation and people.
Phases to Develop a High-Performance Culture
r Evaluate the culture and plan the desired result. This will depend on the company, industry and situation but always have elements of meritocracy which attracts and keep the best people. We call the ideal culture a Darwinian Meritocracy™
r Evaluate each individual manager and determine the gap that exists between current skills, desired skills today and target skills and abilities for 1-2 years out. Note that skills can be developed through learning but more complex arts require years of practice.
r Design a custom plan for each individual with blended learning that includes a combination of study (basics and foundation), mentoring, coaching and their favorite learning modalities. Knowles is the state-of-the-art on adult learning.
r Execute each plan, test, report and improve quarterly – This includes a mix of training, coaching and consulting to raise the level of each key person.
The Deming Wheel, or cycle of constant improvement
Organizational Development is a never ending process because both internal corporate and external factors will always drive some change. Also because there is always both employee turn-over and a need for refresher courses and product/service evolution.
Developing and controlling the culture is normally possible only in SMBs and departmental areas with focus. It becomes exponentially more difficult with groups over 100-200 people. It is critical to set up as early as possible. Larger organizations therefore must be have separate programs for each area, or line of business.
Every business with at least three managers should begin a rudimentary Management Development Program (MDP). MDPs are focused on the individuals and their professional development. Budget - Typical budgets can be from 3-6% of the manager’s combined salaries. If CAGR is under 15% then a budget of 3% is usually sufficient unless there are serious problems or “overwhelm”. Growth rates over 15% would likely need to be on the higher end of this range to be effective and keep up with rapid growth.
Organizational Development Programs (ODPs) are broader and more holistic and focus on the abilities of the organization as a whole. ODP includes internal management systems, strategic and management processes, succession planning and preparing for the future of the organization. Think of OD as the skeleton and the executives and managers as organs in the body performing their specialized functions. At AirTight Management we call all these functions combine Human Capital Acquisition and Development (H-CAD).
Each organization will receive a custom plan
Some Tools of MD/OD
ü Gap/Dysfunction analysis, 360 Evaluations, DISC tests and personality profiles
ü Professional development training, usually supported by a Learning Management System (LMS) which acts as a growing repository of corporate knowledge
ü Mentoring program, using institutional knowledge and people to develop and acclimate newer employees
ü Coaching from external executive coaches
ü Job rotation and other cross-training and empathy building to enhance interdepartmental communications and cooperation. Even company social function play a role here.
ü Business process workflow analysis and optimization (BPM)
ü Systems and policies for constant feedback, accountability and managing by the numbers (KPIs) to enhance management leverage
ü An executive education program including self-development, reading, seminars, conventions, leadership training and development and other skills appropriate to the specific executive
Foundational Skills Managers Must Master
Our process incorporates over two decades of experience in developing organizations. We created AirTight Management to simplify creating world-class organizations by using standardized systems and proven best practices. In fact all Six Systems could be called the basic foundation, or skeleton of an organization. They are an organization’s framework for growth.
Each manager needs fundamental skills training and a shared language with other managers. We developed our Video Training Library (VLT) to provide this in a consistent and cost effective way. Any MD program needs to address the needs of each individual manager to develop then into an executive over time. Executives can manage managers (i.e. VP, GM, COO).
Training alone never works! Training is just information, or a foundation for building skills. People must use these skills and force out older, less effective habits, not consistent with best practices. A good coach is an expert manager and executive and connects this knowledge with actual needs and supports the person in their behavior change. There must be commitment and trust.
Create a World-Class Company Using Proven Systems and Best Practices
for Organizational and Team Development
Other AirTight Systems – Click each for more information. Performance, Accountability and Merit System
Call: (619) SCALE06 for a free business assessment.
AirTight Management and Bob have a perfect 5-Star scores at both third party consulting sites where we offer coaching and consulting services.
You can read other 3rd party testimonials on his LinkedIn profile here:
Here are a few examples from satisfied clients:
“We were able to improve our management of the business and see things we never saw before as a result of AirTight’s help. I recommend it to any business that wants to grow.”
n CEO of $4MM B2B Service Company
Craig has run one technology company as its CEO and helped Kiva Systems, a robotics company, be acquired by Amazon.com for hundreds of millions after working with Bob to design its dashboards.
Bob has even been mentioned in the same paragraph as Richard Branson and Tony Robbins in a book acknowledgement by a CEO and Author client here:
I had been working on a problem for many years and solved it within a day of working with Bob.
n CEO and CEO Boot Camp Attendee
David is an Ex-IBM Senior Executive and previous investor in one of Bob’s Companies turned CEO.