Building collective leadership capability in your organisation with success tracking

A recent Management Today article said that Leadership development is stuck in the dark ages. A key reason for this is a lack of flexibility in moving to a collective leadership model:

There is a transition occurring from the old paradigm in which leadership resided in a person or role, to a new one in which leadership is a collective process that is spread throughout teams and networks of people.

Collective leadership  is particularly suited to very large organisations that act more like business ecosystems than single entities.

In the technology and professional services world, collective leadership also makes sense. One person cannot be expert in everything.

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Collective leaders will need tools to influence others. Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

 

The Kings Fund has published a paper, for example, on the need to develop collective leadership within health care. They describe collective leadership as follows:

Collective leadership entails distributing and allocating leadership power to wherever expertise, capability and motivation sit within organisations.

One of the key skills of a collective leader, someone usually without the necessary command and control clout, is to influence and persuade colleagues to act in a certain way and develop in a certain direction.

A key approach to achieve collective leadership is success tracking.

Success tracking entails helping people track their own journey to success, and at the same time influencing the definition of what success looks like – perfect for collective leaders.

One of the interesting aspects (and challenges) of collective leadership is that aspiring leaders using social media can be very influential in directing the organisation.

I’ve seen a junior partner launch a success tracking program at a top consulting firm which other partners have then signed up to. They are tracking their success according to the scoring rules set by the junior partner.  Most interestingly, this unsanctioned success tracking program has had much much higher engagement than the original formal tracking and development program. Indeed it has now been brought into the fold as part of the formal social media success tracking offered to partners.

The challenge for those looking to develop organisation leaders is then to spot those who are already leading and support their development.

What better way to do this than to introduce the success tracking approach into your leadership development curriculum?

 

Three types of Open Badge distribution approach to consider

When thinking about the distribution architecture for your digital Open Badge program there are 3 viable approaches you should consider:

Manual Distribution based on Simple Criteria

Manual distribution is often fairly easy to do – an open badge platform  like Credly will provide features for sending badges via email and via claim codes.

From an administration point of view, manual distribution only works when there are a small number of badges, a simple criteria for achievement (attendance at an event, completion of a course for example) and a small number of recipients.

However, short of hiring a pool of badge administrators, this does not allow you to scale! For more ambitious programs, automation is required:

Automated Distribution based on Simple Criteria

With automated distribution you will need a separate system for handling the criteria achievement. Most gamification and success tracking platforms can do this for you. For example Rise lets you set up a number of checkboxes which can be updated via API, via spreadsheet upload or manually by managers.

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Rise metrics can be sophisticated based on numerical thresholds but can also be very simple – a checkbox for example

Then the tracking platform connects to the open badge provider and automatically distributes the badge once all the criteria are met.

One of the advantages of having an underlying tracking platform for multiple simple criteria is that for each badging program you can display the current participants and track staff as they progress. This provides social feedback for other staff who are encouraged to join the program and for those staff mid-progress, they are herded towards completion.

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A Rise board provides one way to track both simple and complex criteria for your badge recipients and then automatically distribute open badges on successful completion

 

But in many more sophisticated programs the criteria may develop to be more sophisticated than a simple yes or no – perhaps a grading system or different badges for different thresholds met?

Automated Distribution based on Complex Criteria

A good example of this sort of automated distribution might be a social selling success tracking program. Giving sales reps a badge dependent on their current size of LinkedIn network would certainly recognise them, and spur them to increase their reach and so earn the badge for the next level up.

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Automatically distributing threshold based badges for LinkedIn network size via a Credly account.

Again having an underlying gamification or success tracking platform is absolutely vital. The platform can track each underlying metric and then apply the badge rules and automate the distribution of badges as needed.

With multiple criteria the individual participants will want to see how they are doing – here the tracking app comes into its own as it can provide a dashboard for each participant to see the breakdown of their current scores and progress over time.

Rise clients are doing exactly this by linking their Rise board with Credly badges for seamless automated distribution. Contact us to find out how Rise can support you in your Badge program.