How Learning Leaders Can Drive Earnings Growth
A powerful way to boost your job performance and achieve career success.
By Brent Filson - 9/2008
As a learning leader, you should be a key player in helping your company achieve top-line and bottom-line revenue/earnings growth.
If you’re not doing this, you may be falling short in your job performance and ultimately in your career advancement.
After all, your activities go right to the heart achieving such growth:
- you speak the company’s language,
- you align learning objectives with business goals,
- you interact with all functions and all ranks of employees,
- you think (or should think) tactically and strategically,
- you introduce and disseminate new concepts throughout the organization.
I’m not talking about your burdening yourself with additional duties by taking on roles of those functions that traditionally drive earnings growth, sales, marketing, production, etc.
Instead, I’m talking about your being a results-partner to those functions. Indeed, instead of working more in helping drive earnings growth, you should be working less and yet be C-suite level player in the company.
Here is a 8-Step process to claim your earnings-growth right and boost your job performance and career track to higher levels.
1) Acquire and maintain an earnings-growth mindset. Many learning leaders have a training mindset. And there is a crucial difference between a training mindset and an earnings-growth one.
Training, of course, is important for all learning leaders, but when you look at the company from a training perspective exclusively, you fail to see the vast earnings-growth possibilities that you can realize, often quite easily.
– Training is manifested generally within the status quo and is promoted through good management. Earnings-growth, however, seeks to transform the status quo to achieve continual increases in hard, measured results and is promoted through exceptional leadership.
–Training accomplishments are usually measured by budgetary requirements, surveys, and on-the-job applications. Earnings-growth is measured, for the most part, by across-the-board money saved/earned.
–Training is manifested by your developing, delivering, and monitoring courses. Earnings-growth is manifested by your being the results partner to the functions you work with and, as that partner, helping them get increases in their do-or-die results, results that could not be achieved without you.
–The training function usually reports into human resources. The earnings-growth function should report directly into the C-Suite.
2) Identify the Key Results Areas (KRAs) where earnings growth takes in your business. There are many definitions of earnings growth and a wide range of measurements. But for our purposes, let’s define earnings growth as the value that exists when equity returns exceed equity costs. Which gets down to net cash flow.
In other words, earnings growth encompasses both top-line and bottom-line cash-flow dynamics.
What KRAs must be focused on to achieve earnings growth?
2) Identify the Key Results Targets (KRTs) that must be hit for earnings growth to be achieved and sustained.
Here are a few KRTs that I’ve had clients of mine focus on: speed, productivity, operations efficiencies, reducing over-production, transportation efficiencies, streamlining inventory, eliminating wasted motion, eliminating defects, getting rid of over-processing, sales closes, sales leads, sales to new customers, failure prevention, health and safety, quality, training, logistics, marketing targets, new revenue streams, sales erosion, price, supply chain management, cost reductions, demand flow activities and technologies, inventory turns, cycle time reductions, materials and parts management.
Every one of these can be driven through the good offices of learning leadership.
4) Identify the Key Results Requirements (KRRs) that must be met to achieve earnings growth.
For instance, here are Key Results Requirements I help my clients use:
- The results must be measured.
- The results must come in a specific length of time.
- The results must go beyond what the leaders are achieving now.
- The result must be validated.
- The results must be used as springboards for even more results.
- The results must, in most cases, be translated into money saved/earned.
- The results can’t be achieved without the help of your methodologies.
5) Agree with key leaders on the specific Action Initiatives needed to fulfill each requirement and the specific ways those results will be measured.
Action Initiatives are critical. These are the results-requirements of each Initiative:
- Sizable — The results achieved must be more than what would have been achieved without it.
- Achievable — The results must have a clearly defined beginning and end that can be achieved within set period of time.
- Meaningful — The results must be clearly linked to your earnings growth requirements.
- Measurable — The results must have hard measurements that are reliable, repeatable, achievable and controllable.
- Ethical — The results must reflect strong ethical values and promote integrity.
- Repeatable — The results must lend themselves to being used to promote earnings growth in other functions of your organization.
6) Contract For Results. There should be two general contracts. A. The contract with the group leader. B. Contract with members of the Group.
The contracts should take the form of 5-paragraph letters.
- The Challenge.
- The Aim.
- The Results Targeted.
- The Linkage to organizational objectives.
- The initial sequence of actions to be taken to achieve the results.
7) Implement through the stakeholders’ leadership. You support that leadership by:
- instituting on-going instruction and refresher sessions,
- being a results-partner with your group leaders and their teams,
- giving technical, logistical, learning support,
- building earnings-growth coalitions,
- developing systems that boost earnings growth cross-functionally,
- making motivation span both tactical and strategic activities.
8) Monitor/Evaluate. Your focus on boosting earnings growth must be deep, flexible and continuous. Earnings-growth results are not a goal but a process. With your results partners, develop cross-functional monitoring and evaluating systems. Turbo charge these systems with common measurements.
In your monitoring/evaluating activities, get and keep a C-suite outlook. Just as the CEO, CFO, COO further earnings growth through the efforts in their respective functions, so you should make the same sort of advancements through the learning function.
Copyright © 2008, The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Note From Brent Filson: To help boost the earnings growth in your company, first connect with the value within your learning function. That value may be greater than you think. Over the years, I have taught many learning leaders how to uncover unrecognized value both within themselves and within their companies then build a solid foundation of that value that can lead to continual advances in earnings growth. Please call, and let’s talk about how I can help you and your clients seize those opportunities in comprehensive, systematic ways.
I can help your individual leaders boost their job and career performance. For instance, check out our one-day Leadership Talk sessions that comes with a $50,000 guarantee.
Here’s a one-day session for leaders.
Here’s a one-day session for sales/marketing leaders. http://www.brentfilson.com/pdfs/OnedayForSales-Marketing.pdf
Leadership is too important for the advancement of your client’s job performances and careers and also for the success of your company to have leadership development simply fulfill training objectives. For the past 22+ years, I’ve been helping leaders of all ranks and functions worldwide get great business results.
"Brent Filson knows how to help others get results! His programs are proven in a variety of settings including industry, government, non-profit and the military proving that the way he practices and coaches leadership can work for any organization willing to invest the time and energy necessary to influence their people to produce at their highest productivity levels.”
—Joe Javorski, Director, Worldwide Staffing, Analog Devices
Total Systems Solutions:
I can also help you help your leaders develop and execute unique, customized, total-solution systems for every function of your business. http://www.actionleadership.com/Leadership_Training.cfm
“One of the key components of Brent’s methodologies is their tremendous value in driving monumental change through the leadership of others in the matrix supporting your cause. The actions of developing cause leaders has allowed ordinary teams in my organization to achieve extraordinary results.”
—Robert Cancalosi, Global General Manager, General Electric Medical
Lots Of Help On My Web Site:
On my web site, http://www.actionleadership.com you’ll find many of my books, articles, interviews, course descriptions, and instruction methodologies that will help you in many ways boost your job performance and advance your career by helping your clients get the right results in the right ways.