Create simple, engaging, and effective outputs that actually get results
Billions of corporate dollars are spent every year on initiatives to help people succeed in their job, but much of it goes to waste. Across industries, people are scrambling to find what they need to grow and improve at work, and executives are left wondering why these initiatives aren't effective. Author Juliana Stancampiano has plumbed the depths of this massive disconnect with her team. With this book, she bridges the gap.
Radical Outcomes is a blueprint for a new way of working. Instead of taking old methods and retrofitting them for new technology, Stancampiano unveils a collaborative, fast, and effective way of working that avoids randomness and organizational drag. The book offers a new way of working--the future of the way people and teams will work together.
* Find out how to get tangible results through a structured process
* Cut through noise and information overload to give people what they really need
* Design the right output for the right outcome
* Improve and succeed no matter where you are in the organization
Find out how to create radical outcomes through high performing teams--and get started today.
The Process - Don't Leave Home without It
You must first know yourself, and then realize that since the process of practicing and learning continues throughout your entire lifetime without ever reaching completion, this process is all there is. The process is the thing, the only thing, and to the aspiring jazz musician, therefore, practicing is a way of life. Each musical experience is just practice or preparation for the next one. So, in a very real sense, it's all practice.
-Hal Crook, Ready, Aim, Improvise1
The pianist and the drummer walk to center stage and bow to the applauding audience. The energy in the air is one of anticipation. The pianist sits, waits for the applause to die down, looks at the few papers on his stand, and watches the drummer settle into his seat. He looks at the keyboard in front of him, then turns to welcome the audience, having sketched a few reminders about what to say. He addresses them as a host would welcome dinner guests, providing some tidbits of history and connection to the tune he's about to play. He makes a joke about the relation of the tune's title to the weather. Then they play.
The tune is familiar to the audience, yet as with most forms of jazz, one of the reasons this audience is here is because they want to see what this duo will do with it. Will they treat it as a slow, smoky ballad? Or change the meter into something complex?
They end up doing both.
The music starts in a familiar way, then the duo begins to interweave musical jokes, snippets of other tunes, and changes in rhythm. As they play, they laugh with each other, creating a new phrase happen and playing off it. They appear to be enjoying a conversation with each other, even stopping for an entire measure and resuming without skipping or leaving the safety of the beat. They've gone way off-book with their musical adventure - and yet the entire time, there is still no mistaking that the tune they are playing is "Autumn Leaves," a jazz standard from the 1940s. The pianist takes a turn and then -
Jack knocked loudly on Olivia's office door, and her reverie, recalling last night's remarkable performance by her two musician friends, vanished into the air. "Need you in my office. Maya's on the line."
"Okay," said Olivia, standing up quickly. Olivia Chandler was in her late thirties, dressed in the standard business casual uniform of her workplace, but with a touch of artfulness - a handcrafted silver necklace of hammered medallions and an embroidered denim jacket that just slightly challenged the dress code. Her windowless office of standard-issue furniture was decorated on one wall with a large poster of Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, with Mt. Fuji far in the background and three small fishing boats in the foreground, all dwarfed by the giant waves of the surf. On the other wall was a large white board.
Jack wordlessly turned and left, and Olivia gathered a notebook, her phone, and a pen from her desk. She followed Jack toward his office, jogging slightly to keep up, and then closed the door behind her. A conversation was already taking place on the speakerphone as Jack pressed the red button to unmute.
"I'm back," he said into the phone. "Olivia's here with me. Okay, I'm just going to recap here for Olivia's benefit."
Jack spoke for a minute, summarizing, then Maya interrupted him.
"Guys. You've got 10 weeks to build it. I don't care how you do it; just make it happen. We're going to hire the first wave in 10 weeks. And you can't produce the stuff you normally do - I don't know how to put it other than bluntly - these people have to be ready to do their job."
The words swam around in Olivia's ears like dull white noise. When Jack called her into his office, she'd thought it was going to just be one of his fake fire drills, one of the many things he'd do to stir people up and distract them. But this time it was different. For one thing, Maya was actually on the phone, and the directive was clear. For another thing, Jack looked really uncomfortable.
When the call was over, Jack looked at Olivia. "Alright then. We have ten weeks. I'll need a plan from you in three days."
Olivia skimmed the notes she'd scribbled during the call. "Jack, there's no -" then caught herself, and paused. She looked directly at him. "There's no way we are going to get this done by working the way we've been. We have to make some changes."
Jack shrugged. "I'm never out of my league with you around, Olivia," he said, in that way that made her cringe slightly. Why did he have so much trouble being sincere? "What do you propose?"
"You need to let me run the process. Not whatever process we've randomly been doing. We're going to need to break it down." She stopped. It was never a great idea to share all of what she was thinking with Jack. She needed time to gather her thoughts.
"I'll schedule some time for us tomorrow to review an approach."
"Three days," he said, with a challenging glint in his eye.
"I get it. Three days." She opened the door to his office and stepped out. "Talk to you soon."
To Conquer Random Acts.
When it comes to making your audience successful, we are willing to bet that in your organization, there are lots of stakeholders clamoring for more stuff. More leadership training; more courses on negotiation; more time management training for agents; managers should be able to coach, and do everything else in their job. Everything is expressed in terms of more, better, faster, or should.
In fact, we see a lot of use of the word should on the part of everyone except the person at the end of the line who is trying to be successful at their job, be they an agent, salesperson, soldier, or caretaker.
So how do people in a business agree on what can be connected to an outcome and what is nice to have? How do you get real about what's in and what's out, when it comes to creating stuff for the audience?
Our answer is: there's a process for that.
In all of our work with clients, we've had to have so many conversations about what to create and how it will help. We've had to be maniacal about clarifying assumptions - getting stakeholders to speak up and explain why a piece of content or concept is critical - that before we knew it, we'd developed a process. A way to create something as simple as a single presentation, or as complex as an entire global 90-day onboarding program. A way to ensure that the information is consumable; that the end outputs are easy to update in micro-iterations, and therefore have longevity; and that cuts through all the noise rather than contributes to it, because it's connected to an outcome. It's a way to take a team from envisioning the outcome, all the way through creating outputs so that the audience can consume and engage with an experience rather than receive information one way. Imagine having a process to create that, instead of sending yet another group of people through a training that's long been ineffective.
We have that way. With it, we produce Radical Outcomes.
The Process behind Radical Outcomes
The process behind Radical Outcomes is a series of structured stages that allow for fast, iterative progress. It's an organizing construct to help envision, guide, create, and update workable solutions for people that need to do something differently, or need help to succeed. By collaborating with stakeholders, understanding customers, and empathizing with your audience - we say, "Meeting people where they're at" - we can create repeatable, scalable, and measurable experiences and journeys at work.
Remember Olivia's jazz reverie at the beginning of this chapter? Some people may think that jazz and improvisation is all made up on the spot. Perhaps you've observed people doing something at a high level of performance, whether it's jazz or basketball. It almost seems as if they are communicating telepathically and doing something akin to magic.
It's not magic, though. What's happening behind the scenes, and the way high performing teams interact with each other, is actually highly structured. The choices musicians make during performance are governed by both foundational organizing constructs in music (such as harmony, melody, and styles of jazz) and by their own virtuosity (ability to access the complex language of their instrument). Without these structures, musical improvisation would sound like sheer cacophony. It would fail to engage the audience. Seasoned jazz musicians internalize the structure, reinvent and represent their take on a tune, and even manage the energy of the audience, drawing them in patiently, giving them just enough familiarity and just enough variation so that they want more. They make subtle notes to themselves on the fly - brush the snare drum here, wait to resolve that chord here - lending their own individual flare, yet never stealing the whole show. And even if someone in the ensemble heads in a new direction on stage in front of a crowd, everyone is...