Category Archives: Coaching

Talent Identification for Peak Human Performance


Corporations, Military Organizations, and Sports Teams are constantly looking to find and attract “Peak Performers”.  As technology continues to advance, it is becoming clear that the human component is most often the limiting factor in any endeavor.  Utilizing proven Lean and Six Sigma approaches in concert with expertise in Anatomy & Physiology, Kinesiology, and Psychology; we understand how the human body is intended to move, how to train an individual to perform efficiently and effectively in their given environment, and that the level of motivation an individual needs to carry out their assigned task is critical to the success of any manually driven process.  However, the question remains, even if we can make people better at what they do, how can we find the best person for the job.

You can read more about Lean Six Sigma for Human Performance here: https://thecommonsensei.com/2011/10/07/human-performance-lean-six-sigma-a-process-based-approach-to-improving-human-performance/

Expanding on the concepts presented in the article above we will refer to peak performance in terms of the 3P’s for Human Performance (Physiological, Psychological, and Proprioceptive) and that maximizing efficiency in these three areas entails reaching peak performance.

3 P's of human Performance

Physiological Factors include one’s skill set, conditioning, training etc.

Psychological Factors include motivation, readiness, self-efficacy etc.

Proprioceptive Factors include spatial awareness, coordination, etc.

In order to identify a specific talent that is best suited for any given activity we must first define what excellence looks like and then identify individuals who share common traits that can be trained to achieve or exceed the stated goal.  Utilizing our Talent Identification Model (seen Below) we can build a customized tool to identify talent, track progress and make training corrections/decisions over the course of time.

Talent Identification Model

Stage 1: Baseline Key Process Indicators for Human Performance is all about building a baseline of core competencies that are required for an individual to develop the required future state capability.

Stage 2: Identify, Filter, and account for variables that may alter individual baseline scores. Individual variables will play different roles in Human Performance.  When accounted for, these variables can be determining factors for future capabilities assessments or guidelines for the development and duration of training required for an individual.

Scale

Step 3:  Match individual Human Performance Scores (HPS) with job classification.Best In Job

  • The use of current job/position classifications in combination with the HPS from current Best in Job performers provides a Job/Task specific HPS to align new individuals to a job/role
  • On the job training can be accounted for through regression analysis and will provide a tracking mechanism to ensure that candidates/employees are on track to reach Best in Job standards

 

Individual and Team TrackingStage 4: Individual and Team Tracking.

Tracking of individuals training and performance against their Best in Job performance goals allows for adjustments to each individual or teams training and/or career path.

Food for thought

This approach has been used informally for decades in the selection of individuals to play roles in teams and organizations.  I utilize formal and informal versions of this approach in coaching as well as business endeavors with great levels of success (see Trust the Process, Winning is the Result).  By instituting this approach, organizations can create their own longitudinal study to identify causal relationships which can boost their production.  If you know that people are the key to your organization’s success, shouldn’t you be maximizing their talent?

Until Next Time,

Happy LEANing,

David Allway

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Filed under Business, Coaching, efficiency, government consulting, Human Performance, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Management, Soccer

Trust the Process – Winning is the Result


98G State Champs 2014

Over the last 8 months I have had the unbelievable privilege of working with the Loudoun 98 Girls (U16) Youth Soccer Team in Northern Virginia as an assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer.  During this time, this group has been able to rise above the plateau that they had found themselves on to become Regional Finalists and National Tournament Participants. Finally, this past weekend win the elusive State Championship that they have been working toward over the last several years.

This remarkable group of young ladies has been nurtured over time (nearly 7 years) by two unbelievably talented and dedicated coaches.  The first, Rae Ann Taylor who built a foundation of technical excellence and tactical awareness that provided the girls with the fundamental skills which have allowed them to succeed in soccer and in life.  The second, Randy May who is now the Head Coach of the team, has continued to build on their foundation and has added additional tools in terms of technical and tactical capabilities while helping fine tune the emotional aspects of the game that often come with being 16 years old.

One of the key aspects to this development has been the consistency and willingness of the coaches to stick to a plan.  Over time, there have been numerous instances where players have grown and developed at different rates, players and parents have focused on winning over development, and some players have moved on to chase immediate gratification rather than focusing on becoming a complete player.  To the credit of the coaching staff and a core group of parents and players, this group has stayed the course and seen the results of sticking to the process, winning the Virginia State Championship.

As many of us understand, nothing that is worth dreaming about comes easy.  It is the hard work and dedication that goes into achieving greatness that makes it all that more wonderful when we achieve it.  Additionally, it is only through a series of failures, corrections, and breakthroughs that true continuous improvement occurs.  Like any other endeavor, sport is full of variables and processes that, when understood and properly accounted for, can be approached in a way that makes success inevitable.

During my 8 months with the team, I have been introducing Lean and Six Sigma concepts (without identifying them as such) to help the team to find ways to reduce the variation in their training, game day preparation, and performances to achieve more repeatable and reproducible results. We are just now beginning to see the benefits of this as most of the players are starting to grow in their roles and understand the concepts of team dynamics.  You can find more information about using Lean Six Sigma for Human Performance in my previous post Human Performance Lean Six Sigma: A Process Based Approach: https://thecommonsensei.com/2011/10/07/human-performance-lean-six-sigma-a-process-based-approach-to-improving-human-performance/

Now that we have reached our initial goal, we must refocus and look for new ways to step up our game because sport, like life, is about continuous improvement. Trust the process.

Until Next Time,

Happy LEANing,

David Allway

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Filed under Coaching, Human Performance, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Soccer