Virtual

Contact Manager

Phone:

0800 4 virtual
+644 570 0727
+64 21 620 456

16 Kauri Street, Woburn, Hutt City, New Zealand

email:

Manager@virtual.co.nz




People Development Trusted Adviser Program

Target audience

Trusted Advisers Program is specifically designed for accountants, scientists, engineers, analysts, statisticians, information specialists, researchers, and policy-people. These people often have stronger analytical skills than interpersonal skills. They are bright; sometime scarily so. Intellectually they can be head and shoulders above others. Usually they have the answers to the most important problems in the organisation. Yet, often they can't sell their ideas well and don't rise to the top of the organisation; or even to leadership in their speciality. Trusted Advisers Program is specifically designed to help these people reach their potential.

The Trusted Adviser Program helps advisers move from discipline experts to business experts. Many advisers are strong in their discipline but do not have a sufficiently wide business knowledge. For example an Human Resource Manager (or Finance Manager, or Legal Councillor) is often seen as narrow, knowing lots about HR policy, laws and regulations but not have sufficient business acumen to have Top Team credibility. They have all the jargon associated with their discipline but don't use the words that resonate with top management. Often people like this implement the latest HR policies without understanding the impact it will have within the business. The Trusted Adviser Program helps them analyse and understand the Value Proposition and the strategies of their organisation so they can tailor-make policies and procedures that reinforce the business rather than detract from it.

Design principles

A few of the design principles include:

  1. Peer-to-peer. The first design feature recognises that many analytical thinkers hate trainers, especially "touchy-feelly" trainers. They learn best from their peers who share the same daily experiences and issues. My Program sidesteps this whole issue because we don't train, we facilitate. We introduce new ideas as readings before workshops, then, during workshops, we get people talking and sharing their experiences and in the process they learn from each other.

  2. Whole group. Development programs that advisers usually go on take them out of their group and send them off, on their own. The Trusted Adviser Program involves everyone together, as a result they all learn new skills together, they support each other together and they build closer ties and trust together.

  3. Fourth dimension. Many development programs disregard the fourth dimension of time, yet this is vital for changing habits. It takes about 4 months to change a lifelong thinking habit. Normally we hold a series of about 8 to 10 half-day workshops every couple of weeks. During the two-week periods between the workshops advisers practice their new skills on real life issues in their own work. This drives home the learnings and makes them real. As a result the Program is constantly in front of people for 4 to 5 months (long enough to change habits) but the actual amount of time in workshops is only 4 or 5 days. Diagrammatically a typical Program looks like:

Half-day workshops

A typical Program may include six to eight of the following half-day workshops:

1. Understanding self

The objective of this workshop is to increase the self-knowledge and self-awareness of each individual. Self-awareness is at least half of what's required to improve any relationship. In this workshop we use Herrmann's Whole Brain Index (HBDI) to help the individuals in the team understand their thinking preferences. HBDI is one of the most respected and recognised business profiling tool internationally.

Deliverables includes:

  • Profile each person through Herrmann International's HBDI profile web site
  • Each person will have access the Herrmann's e-learning module and their official booklet explaining HBDI
  • Each person will get a personal profile map of their thinking style under normal conditions and under stress
  • Each person will get a profile map of their team showing the relative thinking styles of members of the team
  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

Outputs include:

  • Each person understands their thinking preference under normal conditions and under stress
  • Each person understand their strengths and how to play to them
  • Each person will understand their weaknesses and how to cover them
  • The group ends up with a language or way of talking about deeper issues that English does not deal with well.

2. Understand and communicate with clients

The objective of this workshop is to build on the Herrmann work started in the first module but with a far greater external focus, giving individuals the tools and skills to build better relationships with customers and colleagues. Customers and colleagues come in four colours (Herrmann quadrants). 25% of people are in each colour. Each colour needs to be handled in a totally different way if you want to communicate with them, influence them and work with them more effectively. Often analytical thinkers assume that everyone else is just like them. HBDI proves that this is not true. They find out that people are fundamentally different from each other; and if they treat everyone in the analytical way they like to be treated they will be successful about a quarter of the time and unsuccessful three-quarters of the time. It's surprising how big an insight this is to analytical thinkers. The workshop also shows advisers how to develop service delivery plans for each of their clients that targets exactly the right approach for that client. For example, some clients are "coloured" green and need totally different approaches from clients who are "coloured" yellow.

Some time ago, I was working with the accountants of one of our biggest social policy organisations. Their Herrmann profiles showed that almost all of them were strongly analytical in their thinking, however, the management and much of the rest of the organisation were strong interpersonal thinkers. Until my Program the accountants had sent out reams of detailed numbers, assuming that their readers would be able to understand the data as well as they could themselves. The Program proved that this was untrue; so as a result, they changed their whole approach, and started sitting down with each of their clients to explain the two or three major points to come out of the accounts that month.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

Outputs include:

  • Increased trust and respect between people, and faster work flow. This happens because each person will learn how to flex their approach to match exactly the colour of their customers and colleagues; this significantly reduces the potential for interpersonal misunderstandings and mis-communications.
  • A more harmonious workplace and reduced complaints from customers. This happens because each person will develop their understanding of what frustrates different types and how to anticipate this and reduce it.
  • Improved communications and reduced wasted effort. This happens because each person will learn how to communicate more effectively and flex to different types.
  • Better working relationships between teams. This happens because each team will understand its thinking preference and how this is seen within the organisation and outside.
  • Better understanding of the customers' needs and improve delivery. This happens because each team will identify its major customers and explore their likely thinking styles and how to approach them and communicate with them most effectively.
  • Each person will better understand their manager and how to approach her and communicate with her most effectively.

3. Team Development

The objective of this workshop is to give teams more cohesiveness, self-respect, agreed ways of working and consequences for failure. Some advisers suffer from the "I'm just a clerk/admin./office worker" syndrome. Because they have not thought through the impact of their job they put themselves down and their effectiveness is reduced accordingly. Actually these people control the systems and processes of the organization and when they realise what Edward Deming said: "I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to proportions something like this: 94% belong to the system (responsibility of advisers) and 6% special" they get a very different view about their importance.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

Outputs include:

  • Identify the team's purpose and how it adds value to the organisation
  • Identify "what's working" in the team and "what's not working"
  • Identify ways to amplify "what's working" effectively
  • Identify ways of eliminating "what's not working" effectively
  • Establish rules of behaviour for the team including consequences of breaking them.

4. Influence

Most advisers have no organisational authority over their clients; their success depends on their ability to influence people. In the workshop they discover that several simple behaviours are practiced by all influential people; then they practice these until they become second nature. I am surprised how many people have never thought about howto be more influential. I could never convince them this; but, by getting them to share stories about the person who was most influential in their lives, they convince themselves.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

5. The power of questions

The objective of this workshop is to improve the ability of advisers to ask great questions. Many advisers think their key skill is to give advice. Actually their key skill is to ask leading questions; and most of them are not good at it. If, by asking the right set of questions, an adviser can get the client to come to the solution themselves, the solution will have a far greater chance of being implemented quickly and successfully.

The Power of Questions Module helps advisers move from asking questions only about their discipline asking questions about the business. This improves their credibility and usefulness with the Top Team.

Finally, many advisers are unnecessarily busy because they try to answer the problems people bring to them. If they had questioned the problem-holder they would have probably found it was a symptom, a condition or an assumption they had made. So even though the adviser solves the "problem" it pops up somewhere else in the organisation or at another time and has t be solved again.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Practice in asking questions
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

6. Systems thinking

The Systems Thinking Module helps advisers move from discipline experts to business experts. It helps develop their business acuman and helps them analyse and understand the Value Proposition and the strategies of their organisation so they can tailor-make policies and procedures that reinforce the business rather than detract from it. When Advisers are helping the business rather than their discipline they gain credibility and usefulness with the Top Team.

Advisors are skilled at taking an issue and pulling it apart; this is the essence of analysis. However few are as skilled in the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole, or showing the linkages of cause and effect over long periods of time. It's the difference between breaking-down to understand the parts and building-up to understand the whole - both are needed!.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

7. Networks

Networks are vital to success of advisers, after-all there's not much point in knowing something if others don't know you know it. Yet many analytical thinkers seem to almost take pride in their weakness in this area. In my Program we usually schedule half a day working on the Laws of Networks. These Laws have been developed over the last 10 years and while computer people understand them other advisers don't.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

8. Trust

Without trust, advice does not get actioned. Without trust things happen slowly if at all. In our half-day workshop we usually cover areas like understanding the attributes of trusted advisers, behaviours that build trust and destroy it. These lessons are not taught, rather they are learned as people tell each other stories about how the people they trust most behaved.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

9. Self-leadership

The objective of this workshop is to increase self-leadership (ability to recognise issues and take ownership of them without being directed by manager) throughout the team. Some advisers tend to wait to be asked what to do. As a result many great initatives fail to be realised and managers are busier than necessary micro-managing.

Deliverables include:

  • A half-day facilitated workshop
  • Prereading to get people on the same page before starting and as a reference for after the workshop.

Outputs include:

  • Each person will be reminded that they have already been leaders sometime in their lives by asking them to share their greatest leadership accomplishment (it may have been as a mother, grandmother, big sister, wife, guide leader, manager etc)
  • Agreement about the behaviours required for leadership (we will summarise the behaviours that they talked about during their greatest leadership accomplishment
  • Agreement about how to work in the future to show more of these behaviours.

10. Review and accountability workshops

Even the best learning dissipates over time and old behaviours reassert themselves; however, with a tiny investment about every three months all the benefits from the original investment can be regained and extended. We usually schedule at least two additional workshops at 3 months and 6 months after the last workshop. This extends the total program to about 9 months by which time new habits are deeply engrained.

It's amazing how small the difference between average and success can be. A few simple things done every day can make an enormous difference. These are the areas that the Trusted Adviser Program targets. If you know a group of advisers who could be more successful please let me know, because in these days of doing more for less, it's waste we cannot afford.

Product support

This product has been developed and is supported by Bruce Holland with help where required from other members of the Virtual Group Business Specialists. Bruce is a specialist in leadership development, Wellington, nationally and internationally. He specialises in public sector leadership and in other large private sector organisations.

Guarantee

All work undertaken by Bruce Holland is guaranteed. If at the end of the program the client doesn't feel that they have received value for money, they may adjust the bill and pay an amount equal to the value they feel they received.

For more information about how you can use the Trusted Adviser Program to get the most out of your managers call or call Bruce Holland direct.

Bruce Holland
Phone +644 570 0727
Freephone 0800 4 virtual
Bruce.holland@virtual.co.nz.
Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills

 
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