Have you ever attended a conference, workshop, or meeting that just “blew your socks off”? You walked away enthused, pumped, and ready to “go and tear up the world”!
How often have you heard great ideas and were highly encouraged by what was said? But after you walked away, you never heard any more talk or discussion about those ideas.
It’s as if the “head of steam” that developed during the event dissipated in the silence that followed.
Check it off
Often times, leaders roll out their ideas or new initiatives at a meeting or conference and before the stage lights dim, they check off the event as done on their “To-Do” list.
As leaders, when we hastily check off an important event and race off to the next item on our lists, we miss an opportunity to reinforce the main objectives of the event.
Every leader can increase the long-term effectiveness of an event by engaging their people in post-event leadership assignments.
In recent blog posts, I’ve been writing about how we rolled out Our Values at a company-wide event that we called our Core Values QIC-Day. I’ll use that event as an example of what I’m talking about.
Tap your inner-circle
When you roll out some key initiatives, get your executive team or inner circle in on the action.
Long before the event, pull your inner circle together and ask them to recommend which employees could become ambassadors for these new initiatives.
This process gets your inner circle thinking about the initiatives in a deeper way and helps them focus on other people in your organization who could help reinforce your key ideas or initiatives.
Leading up to our Core Values QIC-Day, I gathered my inner circle together and asked them to recommend employees who exemplified one of our Core Values.
Ask for commitment
We called these employees “Value Leaders”. Before the event, I went to each of the designated people and asked if they would perform a special roll in the upcoming QIC-Day.
Note: I did not reveal what their roll would be, because I wanted them to experience the powerful process of discovering Our Values with the rest of the company during the event.
Cast the vision
Immediately after our QIC-Day, I met with our Values Leaders to cast the vision for their important positions and shared the following:
- I thanked them for agreeing to this very important leadership role.
- Informed them that they were uniquely selected by the executive team because we had already observed them having a personal commitment to “living out” these values.
- Explained how critical Our Values were to the foundation of everything our company was built on.
- Communicated that we did not want to just talk about Our Values…We wanted them “lived out”.
Expand the team
These leaders were not only good examples of their assigned core value, but had important leadership roles to perform.
- I asked each Values Leader to choose a team of three to five like-minded people who had “lived out” the one value assigned to that leader.
- This allowed more people to get in on the discovery, learning and reinforcement of Our Values.
Define the task
An important aspect of leadership is defining what you expect your people to do and deliver. I took time to explain what I expected of our newly appointed Values Leaders:
- I tasked every Value Team with the challenge of studying what we currently do, finding where any gaps might be, and developing ideas for how we might further our efforts regarding each value.
- Suggested they use the flip charts from the QIC-Day as a starting point to do a deeper dive into how we as a company were going to “live out” that value.
- Asked them to present their recommendations at a second company-wide QIC-Day scheduled for the following month.
Did you notice how I was able to create wide-spread collaboration and support of Our Values through some simple steps? —
I tapped the thinking of my executive team.
They selected appropriate Values Leaders to champion each of Our Values.
The Values Leaders picked three to five person teams to dig deeper into each value and report their findings at our next meeting.
With some similar forethought and planning, you can build upon and reinforce the momentum of your next big event too!
Will you share with me how you involve your employees in the follow-up and follow-through after an organizational-wide event?