Top 25 Models & Theories – Part 3

Continuing with our list of the 25 models, frameworks and theories that every leader needs to know, let’s look at 5 must-have management models you should have in your toolbox.

1. Smart Goals – let’s start with the classic framework for goal-setting. Most of us know this model, but many may not know that it has its origins in Management by Objectives, a philosophy introduced by Peter Drucker in 1954 (what a surprise). Goals and objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. You get this right, and you’re half-way home as a manager of people.

2. Appreciative Inquiry – this model is a particular way of asking questions and envisioning the future that fosters positive relationships. Appreciative Inquiry utilizes a 4-stage process focusing on: Discovering (the identification of organizational processes that work well); Dreaming (the envisioning of processes that would work well in the future), Designing (planning and prioritizing processes), and Delivering (the implementation of the proposed design). The basic idea is to build organizations around what works, rather than trying to fix what doesn’t. It is the opposite of problem solving. Instead of focusing on fixing what’s wrong, AI focuses on how to create more of what’s already working. Think of it as a completely different way of looking at the world…

3. Johari Window – Speaking of looking at the world, the Johari Window is a useful framework for understanding how we see ourselves and how others see us. Developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (the Joe and Harry of “Johari”) this model is a popular coaching tool that contains four boxes in a 2×2 model. The first box is called the Arena and is the body of knowledge known to us and to others – what is out in the open. The second box is the Facade, which contains that which we know about ourselves that is unknown by others – what we keep hidden. The third box is called the Blind Spot – what others can clearly see about us that we don’t acknowledge, and finally, there is the Unknown box – that which neither we nor others can see. The idea is to expand the Arena box in your relationships so that everyone is on the same page, thus fostering openness and honesty.

4. 9-Box – this is a popular performance management tool that plots a group of employees on an x and y axis style grid that has 9 total “boxes”. The x axis represents performance (low, medium and high) and the y axis represents potential (low, medium, high); by collecting a rating for both dimensions on every employee in the group, the 9-Box offers an at-a-glance view of your talent on two critical factors. Employees that score “low” on both dimensions will plot on the lower left hand box, while high performing, high potential employees will group in the top right hand box. A great tool for representing your people and making plans to transition or develop talent.

5. RACI – this is a model that is useful in identifying roles and responsibilities during an organizational change process. The RACI model helps define who should do what to make the transformation happen. In the model, R stands for Responsible – identifying who owns the project or process. A is for Accountable, which indicates those who must sign off on or approve the work. C is for Consulted – accounting for those who have information or capabilities that we need to include in the effort. Finally, I stands for Informed, and indicates those who need to be notified, but not necessarily consulted. In small teams, a quick agreement and communication of the RACI roles can go a long way toward ensuring successful change efforts.

Next up – 5 strategy frameworks that every leader needs to know.