Optimal Outcomes

by Matt Poepsel, PhD

So when I talked about talent optimization, a lot of times I get the question. Well, that’s great. What exactly is it that we’re optimizing? Let’s go back to my classic definition, talent optimization is the strategic process of maximizing business results by optimizing the performance and experience of individuals, teams and organizations. So you can see here clearly that what we’re optimizing comes down to the people part of our business, both the performance and their experience. So here’s the way to think about it. When you think about optimal outcomes, there’s a couple of different dimensions you can look at the performance itself can either be high or low, or it could be the experience high or low. And so if both are low, so now we’ve got let’s take an example of a team low performing team that’s having a bad time of things. That is a toxic situation, we don’t want to see that hopefully, you don’t have a lot of that inside your organization’s or your client organizations.

So another example here, though, is what happens when we have a high performing team. But the experience of those team members is pretty poor, low experience that is a frustrated team. So they’re performing well, but at the same time, not having a great time of things. Another example is when you have a high experience, everybody’s having a really great time. But low performance, not getting a lot done, not a lot of productivity, not a lot of performance, that’s kind of a cheerleader type situation, definitely don’t want to see that it’s not driving a lot of business results.

But even though everybody’s having a good time. And then finally, of course, where we want to see every individual team and organization is in that optimal state where performance is high, assuming we’ve got them working on the right things, that the experience is high, assuming that everybody’s working together, getting along high levels of cohesion, etc. So what happens when we have anything that’s other than that green box, when everything anything is sub optimal? There’s a couple of things that I see show up quite often, versus I see business leaders tend to focus on Miss targets. Anytime we see something that’s on a dashboard, for example, if it’s red, or yellow, when you wish it were green, something that’s actively happening in the business, there’s metrics, there’s some evidence that performance is lagging, or the experience is frustrating. And that’s going to show up in those business results. Another example, business strategy is execution risk business, people tend to think about the next 1218 months, whatever it might be, in terms of their planning cycles, and think we may not be able to pull this off. That’s an example of execution risk. And it’s an example again, of skipping talent optimization steps.

And finally, probably the most nefarious of these is that people tax I call it, where we pay it in the middle when it comes to the people part of the business. Again, if we skip steps, we’re going to end up paying a higher than necessary tax, it shows up in the form of lost productivity. For example, when managers have people who come into their office or join them on a zoom and say I’m frustrated by this, or this group, and I aren’t aren’t seeing eye to eye on something. That’s all wasted energy inside of the organization. poor decision making poor communication, all this shows up as people tax.

So we really want organizations to be optimal. We want our teams to be optimal. We want our individuals to be optimal. And we say, talent optimization, what we’re talking about is optimizing their performance and their experience. We have to have both of those if we’re going to have truly optimal outcomes. That’s it for today. We’d love to hear from you. Reach me on LinkedIn, love to answer any questions you may have about the content that I produced, and just reviewed with you now or if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in the future.