Building a Learning Organization

No matter if your California business is dedicated to improving people’s lives by building a better product, offering innovative services, or creating equitable social outcomes for families and communities, today’s complex environment demands that you do better than shoot from the hip. Unless you get to the root cause of problems, at best you will be addressing the symptom and not the cause.

The most important questions facing leaders do not lend themselves to obvious answers:

  • How can I identify employees who are diamonds in the rough and help them build on their strengths and expand their competencies?
  • Why is a team of smart, talented people consistently failing to deliver results?
  • How do I know if the program I’ve put in place to develop my people is working? How do I know the ROI is worthwhile?
  • What do our clients and partners really think about how we respond to their needs?
  • How do I evaluate grantmaking or program interventions in hard-to-measure strategy areas like capacity building, leadership, or policy and systems change?

Leaving Nothing Out

Meaningful, strategic solutions to questions like these can only be found by digging beneath the surface, surfacing diverse voices, and synthesizing results collaboratively to create actionable insights.

Praxsys leadership in California supports you in looking deeper for learning and improvement. Our approach will provide you with the greatest return on your investment in assessment by applying a unique combination of skills and principles.

Our assessments are:

  • Integral: People are more than their job. We look at them as whole human beings, considering not just their effectiveness in their current role, but also how their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, relationships, sense of purpose, and integrity combine to enable them lead and live with greater purpose and satisfaction.
  • Developmental: Every person or team has unrealized potential, and our job is to help you find it and draw it out. Rather than pigeon-holing people into personality types or a fixed set of traits, we look to how each person can learn to express their unique strengths more fully.
  • Systemic: Leaders and teams don’t exist in isolation. Our assessments recognize that people are influenced by their surrounding organizational culture, structures, policies, and stakeholders — and they have influence on that system in return.
  • Engaged: Any assessment is only as valuable as the meaning, learning, and action that comes from it. We involve people every step of the process in order to embed equity, ownership, and mutual accountability in the outcomes.
  • Strategic: We align our assessments to strategic business outcomes, culture change priorities, and key performance indicators to create shifts that provide both individual and business value.
  • Individual Assessments

    Do you struggle to identify your people’s talents and figure out how they can be developed — no matter whether they are emerging or established leaders? Are you looking for the best ways to set them up for success so they make the greatest impact in areas that matter?

    We combine proprietary tools like our Leadership Impact™ framework with our expert insights on human development grounded in Integral Coaching and proven research-based measurements to help you gain a deeper understanding of a person’s potential and how to transform the barriers holding them back.

    Depending on your needs and budget, we will apply a tailored set of methods such as in-depth interviews with the focus individual, confidential interviews with their colleagues, 360° assessment surveys, and direct observation in their daily routine. We can focus on a single leader or scale up to assess people across the entire organization.

    This sort of assessment is an inherent part of our California Executive Coaching and the individual development component of our Leadership Impact programs.

    Regardless of the specifics, we guarantee you will come away with both balanced insights and pragmatic recommendations. Our expert coaches will deliver the assessment directly and respectfully to help illuminate your path forward.

  • Team Assessments

    Is your California team struggling with underperformance? Are they still adjusting following a merger, restructuring, or leadership transition? Is there a revolving door of turnover with no clear cause? Or do you simply want to take a good team to great?

    Executive leadership teams, departmental staff groups, boards of directors, and production lines all have one thing in common. They are based in the idea that the true power of a team is not just in the individuals, but in the synergies that produce an impact much greater than the sum of its parts. When those parts are not working together well, the team will be unable to fulfill its purpose over the long term.

    Whatever type of team you are looking to improve, assessment of individual team members will only give you part of the picture. And the stakes may be too high to proceed on your own gut feeling. If you really want to take people’s performance to the next level, you need expert insight into how they collaborate and work together.

    Is the team aligned around a shared direction and purpose? Do they have a sense of belonging that makes them feel they are truly in it together? How do they communicate with each other? Can they turn disagreements into conflict opportunities for learning and innovation? Do they have the resources, structures, and processes they need to be effective? Do they feel empowered to take effective action? Do they act with awareness and learn from their experience?

    These are just some of the questions we can address with a team assessment in California. Our rigorous approach draws on a variety of research methodologies, including quantitative surveys, qualitative data from interviews, participatory whole-systems approaches like Appreciative Inquiry, and expert assessment.

    The result is a fuller picture of the current challenges and opportunities you face, as well as the available strengths and assets, and developmental pathways to meet them. This will help you be more targeted and strategic in how you develop your California team through further leadership team coaching or other actions.

  • Program Evaluation for Systemic Change

    When implementing organizational initiatives and programs in California, three key questions drive accountability and improvement: How did we go about implementing it? Did it work in the way we intended? What can we learn from the results — both intended and unintended?

    It is notoriously hard to evaluate organizational or grant-making programs aimed at changes in human development and systems. Initiatives around culture change, Collective Impact, or policy and systems change strategies take place within complex environments where stakeholders may have vastly different interests, understandings of the problem, and definitions of success. Outcomes may be the result of multiple inputs, and can lag behind the actions in both time and causality. Cultural competence and an equity lens are critical to address dynamics of power, participation, and voice.

    It’s in our name. Praxsys = reflective action in systems.

    Our combination of expertise in leadership, capacity building, positive psychology, organizational behavior, community engagement, and integral human development gives us a unique perspective on your program and its participants.

    This is complemented by our team’s technical capabilities in pragmatic, mixed-methods research methods drawing on the world-class training and talent of Claremont Graduate University, recognized as one of the top academic programs in the transdisciplinary field of program evaluation in California.

    Both aspects of our expertise are rooted in a stakeholder-oriented approach focused on generating knowledge that is meaningful and actionable to people most affected by it. By using a participatory, developmental approach we generate learning not just in the findings, but in the very process of engaging in reflection and meaning-making.

    Far from an academic analysis using abstract concepts, we support stakeholders in developing capacity to respond to changing environments, and the competence to collaboratively determine the right next step to advance practice in your organization and its broader field.

    Learn more about our approach and how it will empower you into conscious action and continuous learning!

Get clear on strategic solutions for your California organization.

For a free initial consultation, contact Praxsys Leadership online or by calling our California offices about leadership assessment and evaluation at (909) 632-1624.