BY NANCY TOTH, MA
Manager of Professional Development
For several years, APEGGA members have benefited from Katharine Bondy’s seminars on various aspects of leadership. She’s with the Western Leadership Centre and has been teaching from the High Performance Leadership 360 Solutions modules available through the centre.
Her seminars have always been well attended and evaluated highly. At her two-day leadership seminar in April, 77 people enrolled.
I learned at the conference that Katharine’s husband, Rob Macdonald, not only has 10 years of experience with the modules, he is also an APEGGA member and P.Eng. He is a chemical engineer, but also has the certified human resources professional designation.
Best of all, he is now available to us for presentation of professional development.
Rob has spent about 20 years in the oilpatch as an engineer on the producer and service sides with Union Oil and Ranger Oil. Working in Russia for five years, Rob dealt with human resources and numerous government interventions. He can now bring an engineer’s approach to the soft skills of leadership and other human resources issues for APEGGA members.
Rob Macdonald, P.Eng., works with employees and brings soft skills of leadership to APEGGA members this Fall through a series of seminars.
“I’ve been in remote areas as well as head offices and have travelled internationally, Rob says. “With Nowsco (later bought by BJ Services), I was engineering manager with a team of technologists, engineers, administration staff and scientists. I was seconded to negotiate and then run a Russian project in a Siberian oilfield, which generated $60 million a year and included 150 Russian and 25 Canadians.
“The Russia project taught me the importance of the soft skills that are so hard to learn as an engineer, especially when two completely different cultures need to work together to create a successful joint venture. After six years, I decided to learn more about the practices of leadership, communication and developing teams.
“I joined Western Leader-ship Centre. I now am involved with technical and operations people, since I have great empathy for the projects they undertake. I believe that engineers need more tools to deal with their project teams, and these seldom lie in the technical areas. I serve to help them get better results with the people they lead.
“I share my personal experiences, usually as examples of how not to deal with people!”
Helping Organizations Reach Full Potential
While many training and consulting companies across North America concentrate on improving employees’ technical skills and daily processes, 360 Solutions has a vision different from the rest. Its goal is to prove that no amount of technical training and benefits can motivate and empower employees like human developmental training.
The distinction is the company’s emphasis on the model for the high performance organization, rather than the traditional model that has dominated private and public sector employees for so many years.
High Performance Paradigm
A high performance organization is an organization in which each person is a contributing partner to the business.
Of course, many organizations espouse a philosophy that values people and yet are not experiencing the kinds of performance described at the start of this article. That is because they are not designed to do so.
The movement can be summarized by four basic principles.
1. People are the organization’s greatest resource and need to be trusted and empowered.
2. Work must be designed so that people are allowed to do whole and meaningful tasks that integrate all work aspects into a singular and total system.
3. Cross-functional teams are the natural work units of high performance companies and are responsible for managing all of the tasks and processes to accomplish business goals.
4. The role of management must change from controlling workers to providing resources and training, as well as managing the environment so teams can be most effective.
Research and experience indicate that organizations guided by principles of high performance consistently outperform their more traditional counterparts. In fact, a recent review of 100 organizations that have recently redesigned their work environments consistent with these principles showed an average improvement in productivity of 37 per cent. Pretty remarkable!
“If you keep doing what you've been doing you'll keep getting what you've been getting,” says an old truism. Most leaders, owners or managers have not yet tapped the full potential of their workforce, and yet they won't do so by doing what they've done in the past, even when they do it more and better.
Only through a redesign of work and the structure of the organization can outstanding improvements in productivity and quality be realized.
How to Make it Happen
The good news is that 360 Solutions has created several programs to assist organizations in making the transition to high performance. The mission of 360 Solutions is to introduce employers to principles of high performance and dramatically improve their productivity, profits, employee performance and employee morale.
All types of organizations — manufacturing and service, large and small, whole companies or sub-units — can use these programs to become high performing.
APEGGA’s Fall PD Day is Sept 12 in Calgary and Oct. 3 in Edmonton. We are pleased to present Rob Macdonald facilitating High Performance Leadership: Performance Expectations and Empowering Others for Success.
These modules continue the High Performance Leadership program, which has as overall objectives
• Recognize yourself as a leader
• Understand the practices of empowering leaders
• Commit to “leading from the balcony”
• Find balance among the five leadership roles.
The morning session is on performance expectations, the afternoon session empowering others for success.
Visit www.apega.ca/members/Events/pd_daysNOV.html. Contact Nancy Toth, MA, Manager of Professional Development, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-426-3990, ext. 2811.