In June we did the Ecopolicy game as an exercise for coaching at performance review meetings (or also: steering meetings).
The game was done in two phases and the goal was:
- To lead or attend a performance review meeting and have a similar experience like the management of your organization has each week, month, quarter, …
- To coach an attendee of the performance review meeting and practice your coaching skills.
You and your team are the leaders of Cybernetia, a cyber state that needs a government to survive. Politics, production, environmental stress, quality of life, education and population are the measured sectors of human life and are expressed in KPIs. In the game these KPIs are all interlinked in such a way by mathematical relations that each decision results in a chain of effects and repercussions just like in real life.
Lead or attend a performance review meeting
In a 20 minute long performance review meeting the ambassador decides together with his 5 ministers on the policy of Cybernetia. Some and certainly not all KPIs are under the influence of the government.
You get 5 attempts of 20 minutes to lead your nation, Cybernetia. In one session, the goal is to take at least 12 decisions in up/down grading the KPIs which you can influence.
If the quality of life for your population is getting worse, your population will question your policy. When it escalates, the population does a coup d’etat and you loose.
What did I learn as board member?
In the first round I was the ambassador of Cybernetia and together with the board, we determined the policy.
- A performance review meeting can be very stressful! The first round went almost completely to trying to understand the tool.
- When all board members are coached individually you see strange behavior and changes in behavior between the board meetings.
- Because you are also coached individually, the board sees your behavior changes and reacts on it.
- Group dynamics are always happening. I repeat: group dynamics are always happening! Even if the team work moments are very short, the group will go through the forming, storming, norming and performing stages. Be aware of it.
- After each performance review meeting there is a recap session. Use it as ambassador to give feedback on people behavior. But don’t wait to the recap session if the behavior is not acceptable during the PRM.
- Use your dashboard. Look at the facts. When emotions take over, our rationality stays behind.
- It is not needed as team leader to know all the details.
- It is not needed as team leader to facilitate the discussion. If somebody else is better, let him do it.
- It is needed as team leader to take decisions based on uncertain elements.
What did I learn as coach?
In the second round I was the coach of a minister of Cybernetia. I watched my coachees behavior, the group interaction and the process.
- Write down facts and observations, not interpretations. Interpretations are assumptions that you have the right answer.
- Coaching on behavior and facts is a hard job. You need to be observing and writing at top speed to get everything right.
- Giving feedback is not always easy. You coachee can go in resistance. Use a much facts as possible. Pick your battles.
- Try to ask questions during feedback talks. Challenge, but try to understand. Why did he do that? Did it have the wanted result? What could have gone better?
- If your coachee doesn’t do anything, he still doing something! Don’t fall in sleep when your coachee remains below the radar. Why is he doing so? What does his body language see? How is the group interaction?
- Observe the process of decision making.
- After the coaching talk, make a summary. What is the most important thing he learned? What will he do different next time?
More information on the game