Three for All

by Matt Poepsel, PhD

Today we’re going to talk about three for all. I was having a conversation recently with Aaron Lee Aaron is an executive coach out of the great state of Virginia. And we hit upon a framework that I’d like to share with you now, in this fictitious example, let’s take a look at Sonia Sonia is a senior manager at a software company, she’s not very happy, we don’t really understand yet why she’s unhappy. So we’re gonna have to do a little bit of digging. And we find out that she is a software engineering manager. So she has this functional role that she plays inside of the organization.

But that’s not all, there’s more to the picture. At the same time, she’s a member of the executive team. So she has a role to play that’s somewhat different from her functional role. So she’s playing two roles. And we find out that’s not even all of it. She’s aspiring for a promotion, she’s part of the succession plan, she hopes to become a senior vice president, for example. And there’s this role a new responsibility she’s going to have that she’s trying to get ready for. So that’s a lot of different roles that she’s playing all at the same time, to Making matters even more complex, each one of these has a different team members. So there’s different connections and relationships with each of these different roles.

And each of the roles is pursuing a different set of objectives. So that’s quite a bit of data. Now, if we want to try to help understand what Sonia, this experience is like and how her performance is in context, unfortunately, sometimes we turn to a 360 review, where we’re asking people for their input about what it’s like to work with Sonia. But we ignore the fact that these people are observing her in their different roles, or that they themselves play different roles relative to Sonia in a given context. And you can see she’s even more frustrated, unfortunately, than when we started.

So this brings us to diagnose, diagnose has this key activity called measure what matters in the talent optimization framework, we want to make sure that we have all of the pertinent data so that we can analyze that data objectively and make the most prescriptive actions based on that objective review of the data. So in this example, being able to understand the different characteristics of the people who Sonia is working with in her various contexts, or what those objectives are, we may find, for example, that she’s gets along great with her team, and they really enjoy working with Sonia and that they’re doing great, but the executive team has been a little slower to come to trust, Sonia.

Well, that’s really important context. And that may be something that’s really not going to show up necessarily with that full context in the example of like, 360. So talent optimization says measure what matters, we need to make sure we have all the data that we can bring to bear so we fully understand Sonia’s performance and her experience in full context.