Creating a Peer Powered Culture

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Training Wasted Mug

“We can be Inspired by Experts, Motivated by Managers
but we are Powered by our Peers”

It is the people who experience our same challenges, live with our same frustrations, are confined by the same limitations that show us what is really possible. We can ignore the advice of experts, mock our leaders, but we cannot escape the truth of seeing people just like us, who with the same resources just do better. These are our real leaders. They are not those empowered by their positions but in-powered by their accomplishments. They lead by example, thrive where they are appreciated and raise the level of performance for everyone they touch.

Peer Powered Performance™ combines the progressive learning systems of the Change the Buzz™ process with focused attention on organizational designs that either enhance or detract from stakeholder engagement at all levels of the organization.

Peer Powered Performance™ provides a systemic approach to innovation by enlisting insights and tensions from all levels of the organization.

Peer Powered Performance™ often begins within targeted groups within organizations but will only succeed  with explicit support and involvement of senior leadership.

Peer Power Participants are taught how to:

  1. Be accountable for their ability to participate in improving process without attacking personalities.
  2. Use Cubic Thinking™ techniques to think more quickly, more democratically, more deeply and more creatively.
  3. Identify opportunities for systemic improvement as well as roadblocks to stakeholder engagement.
  4. Seek the feedback of outside experts to improve ideas and provide case study comparisons
  5. Create business plans for addressing opportunities including budget implications and time commitments
  6. Encourage critical feedback and identify collaborators in vetting plans.
  7. Establish quantitative criterion for measuring progress and setting checkpoints.
  8. Support other stakeholders in their quests for continuous improvement.
  9. Put progress ahead of personal preferences and political posturing.
  10. Be a mentor for the process

The systems are powerful because they begin at the end.

Before concept, content or delivery there are systems for moving ideas from the ephemeral to the experiential.  Traditional training puts too much responsibility on those providing the training and too little on those receiving the services.  The solution is to define an ongoing system that revises those roles involving all stakeholders in a continuous process of innovation through collaboration.

Leveraging Pre and Post training benefits increases learning effectiveness by 76%.

Source: Dr. Brent Peterson,  Columbia University

Where the two systems diverge is in the inclusion of architecture.

Peer Powered Performance™ is specifically for those who believe improving employee engagement requires addressing both individual skills and organizational structure.

Change the Buzz

Change the Buzz™ is intended as a system to augment education without altering organizational architecture. The process may reveal systems that are counter-productive but its purpose is to give participants strategies that can be used within the confines of their control.

Peer Powered Performance

Peer Powered Performance™ expands the scope of Change the Buzz™ engagement to include content that may influence organizational design. Peer Powered Performance™ is not appropriate for participants that have no influence over structure or in organizations where innovations in organizational architecture are unappreciated.

Dual Operating SystemThe essence of the Peer Power Process is one of mutual discovery by providing a system for “value-adding” employees within any organization the opportunity to find the solutions to their most relevant challenges. The system is not intended to replace or disrupt established hierarchy but to provide a parallel system for encouraging innovation through collaboration.

Peer Powered Performance™ is a practical system for engaging energy, creativity and resilience from every level of the organization. It is a process that brings out the best in value-adding team members while simultaneously dis-empowering those who, in the absence of transparent accountability, are allowed to bully and manipulate draining invaluable energy and resources. The Red Shoe Solutions role for our clients is to act as catalysts for stimulating help-full conversations.

Using simple “Facebook like” desktop and mobile collaboration tools we enlist the power of community to create cultures where everyone has the opportunity to:

  • Know the facts without censorship or spin
  • Be free to disagree without fear of retribution or recrimination
  • Learn from failure without being labeled a failure
  • Grow both personally and professionally
  • Interact and explore across boundaries
  • Be provided a process for initiating change
  • Challenge convention and seek counsel
  • Be treated with dignity in all dealings.

Peer Powered Mentors

The people who inspired this system are admired the world over for creating cultures not driven from above but Powered by Peers.

Steve Jobs believed so strongly in the importance of connecting disparate functionalities that he officed engineers with illustrators and put the only bathrooms on the Pixar campus right in the center where people and ideas would converge.

Vineet Nayar a member of Fortune magazines 2011 global “Executive Dream Team” turned a 30,000 employee company growing at 30% upside down growing his customer base five-fold and cutting attrition in half in just four years. Each of these people applied a simple idea that is long overdue in many businesses.

Change takes time, tenacity and teams. Of these three it seems that teams are the least understood, most idolized and least utilized. We admire great teams, recruit the best players then manage them as individuals. We have individual performance reviews, provide individualized training, personal goals and pay-for-performance compensation often without consideration for all the connections that make us who we are. It is these connections that either lift us up, pull us down or hold us in place. To significantly impact behavior whether it is for ourselves or our teams we must address both people and process.

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