Future Shape of the Winner: Week 3

This post is a continuation in a series of weekly posts about my thoughts and learnings with regards to Tom Peter’s “The Future Shape of the Winner” Model and the “Excellence Audit” .  I am in week 3 of a distance learning course to become an accredited user of the Excellence Audit.  Please feel free to comment and/or add to my thoughts below.

This week’s assignment is about the Excellence Audit – what it looks like, how it works, and how the data is evaluated.  I completed the audit as one of my clients, or rather, as the Office Administrator of the New York branch of a Global Law Firm.  Some thoughts/challenges/questions:

  1. I continue to enjoy the model’s simplicity, and see the model coming clearly through the audit itself.  It does not take much to understand how the model is being translated into the actual audit, and how leaders can quickly assess their organization against a desired future set of elements.
  2. I, like Robert, did not follow the rules and completed the “now” and “future” simultaneously.  A quick discussion on the value of doing all the “nows” first and then circling back to do the “future” would be helpful for me.
  3. I, like Matt, had a hard time writing something other than a “5″ in all areas, but I remembered my own advice when talking to clients about future state:  it cannot all be accomplished at once, so when you put the time frame in of 3-5 years (or as Matt says, maybe even 1 year?) it made it easier to think about what needed to be prioritized.
  4. My “customer” in my example was the attorneys in the NY office, and the Firm itself.  I think that for some clients or divisions who are not directly customer-facing, the questions around the customer will be confusing.  They need to define who their direct customer is, and then who the end customer is, and how they have an impact on each of theses audiences.  Makes those questions a bit more difficult.
  5. Speaking of customer, Kris mentioned that we could have the customers take the audit?  Has this been done?  How was that data taken in with the rest of the leadership and accounted for or was it kept separate as a separate viewpoint?
  6. Speaking of separate viewpoints, I noticed in the participants guide a mention of being able to identify sub-groups, but I didn’t see where that was possible.  How do you identify opinions for sub-groups and show their results separately?
  7. Is there a minimum recommended number of participants to get decent data?  The materials talk about choosing our participants carefully, but maybe we need to have some guidelines around that (“Who should take this”)
  8. Finally, I know we’ve talked a little about the type of organization that could use this, but I’m wondering how granular can we get?  I felt, when answering on behalf of my Office Administrator, a little at a loss – that my ability to actually influence the “future” was small.  Maybe this group was not an appropriate group for the audit?  Like Hans, when I was rating my “Nows” low, I found myself wanting to explain WHY, but the WHYs were very targeted at other leaders in the organization, vs. what I had/had not done.
  9. One last note – I agree with Matt on the terminology re: audit – it does seem a little technical/negative but I could get over it.  I like diagnostic, but I will probably just use that word when describing it.

Sorry for the last minute-ness!  I am glad I got to get through it and read all of your lovely comments.

For those of you who are not in my class with me but are intrigued and want more information on this amazing tool, send me an email and I’ll send you out the white paper!

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