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LIne Manager Development


Hi everyone, I wanted to call on the expertise of this forum to suggest some exercises for a line manager session I am delivering very soon.

My organisation has introduced an on line KPI system for line managers to view KPI targets on a daily basis.

The primarily goal of the session originally was to demosntrate the system although as most of you will agree this is an opportunity to discuss why we have KPI's etc and the impact they can have on performance.

I have created a system 'how to' guide and am now working on the session plan making great progress.

I am scratching around for an exercise to demonstrate how if we set stretching targets then people will strive to achieve these.  Currently when someone has hit a target they tend to sit back and the line managers have not considered increasing this target!!

I have considered telling the story of Bob Beaman the American longjumper and the fantastic jump he achieved but would like some other examples.

Your thought would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.


3 Responses

  1. Line Manager Development

    Hi Julie
    My inclination would be to design an interactive session that involves the managers doing a task which is stretching but not too taxing and achievable well within a given time frame (eg actually should take 20 mins to complete and you give them 30 mins), then letting them sit there for the rest of the time doing nothing. You could then debrief, “how did they feel achieving the task? “What did it feel like having achieved having nothing to do for the rest of the time” then relate this to the workplace and objectives they set. 
    Alternatively, for more impact, before the debrief move on to a second task giving them another 30 mins to complete. This task should take them say 10 mins to achieve so have an option of another more stretching task to be completed in the time that is left with a prize for completion of both. 
    Then do the debrief by discussing a comparison of how they felt after the first task “What did it feel like having achieved having nothing to do for the rest of the time” then relate this to the workplace and objectives they set. Then the second & third tasks, “how did they then feel?” …motivated to do the next task?…eager for the prize? etc, relate this to the workplace, their setting stretching objectives, the fact that KPI’s are not set in stone (they are a minimum standard indicator) but can always be improved upon.
    I hope that this helps.
  2. Guns and Targets!!

    Hi Julie,

    This may or may not help!  I have used this game several times with a variety of managers, all the way to Director level, and you can see the lightbulb moments everytime!!!

    Firstly, you need to buy a toy gun – one that shoots foam darts or balls (nothing that will hurt!)  Line the partcipants up, and ask person number one to fire, it doesn’t, matter where they aim.  Regardless of where they hit, give them a random point eg 10.  Get the second person to fire the gun, again, give them a random point.  Continue with this until all participants have fired,  You will begin to here mumblings "that wasn’t fair, how did he/ she get more – I hit it further/longer/ harder etc (the point being they have no target, so it doesn’t matter where they aim – but don’t tell them this!!)  Next, have a flip chart, you need to pre draw four large circles, one in each corner.  You don’t need to say anything, participants will natuarlly think this is what they have to aim for.  Starting from the beginning again, give out random point for hitting the circles (keep track of the scoreson paper, as people do become competitive!!)  This second round will cause even more confusion,as again the point seem random.  Try and give out higher values in this round – 50 points etc, as they are now actually aiming and hitting a target of sorts!!!

    For the final round you need a second piece of flipchart, this time with several circles inside each other, drawn like a target, with numbers in each circle, denoting the points that can be achieved.    You will immediately see a change in everyone’s body language as they try and hit the target.  Even though it is just a simple game, people automatically try so much harder when there is a clear target to be met – it is quite amusing to watch!

    There are so many learnings here, and you can refer back to the first round where people weren’t serious, progressing onto the last round where people were really aiming for the target.

    Let me know how it goes if you try it !!!   

  3. Paper planes

    Hi Julie

    I have used a simple exercise more for the topic of goals and goal setting.

    1. Divide the class into two groups (or two groups of two if its a large class)

    2. Give group A the some plain paper and pass them the written instructions to make paper planes (created my own tongue twister there)

    3. Give group B some plain paper and pass them the written instructions to make 5 paper planes that can fly the length of the training room and give them 3 minutes to complete the exercise.

    The energy and determination of group B to complete the task will contrast sharply with group A who will think the whole exercise is daft.

    The take-away is the importance of setting goals and targets.

    It does not answer your query regarding stetch targets directly but as the facilitator you could make the point that having quantifiable goals for group B means the manager can measure performance and then adjust the targets accordingly – 10 planes in 3 mins or 3 planes in 3 mins etc.



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