It can sometimes be quite tricky to identify what it is we want… when I ask my clients “what outcome would you like to achieve?”, they often go on to reply with a long list of things they don’t want!

As a leader having clear outcomes is essential if you are going to engage your team in achieving success. Even better, is to create an environment where together you co-design the outcomes in the first place, and then define what success is as a team.

Having the opportunity to visualise what you want to achieve, and identify what steps are needed to bring about your preferred future, helps everyone involved to get clear about expectations and what they will contribute.

Well Formed Outcomes

Setting “Well Formed Outcomes” is a brilliant way to help you do this. This technique works well when setting your own outcomes, supporting individual team members get clear on their outcomes and is a great way to open up conversations with your team.

Here’s a framework, with some coaching questions, to help you facilitate your own practical team session. Of course you can adapt the framework to work with individuals too.

1. Check In Round

In turns and without interruption, ask for an example of something each team member is looking forward to achieving during the year ahead.

2. Ideas

Using thoughts from the Check In Round and a wider group discussion, on sticky notes or flip chart, capture emerging themes the team want to achieve over the coming months.

3. Team Outcome

Agree which of these outcomes you will work on collaboratively. Then pick the one you want to prioritise and work on first.

4. Specific Achievement

Agree specifically what do you want to achieve?

Write the outcome up on a flip chart as if you have achieved it now. E.g. We are working with three new clients, supporting Board members to define the purpose of your organisation.

5. Evidence of Success

It’s time to visualise success and agree how you will know you have achieved your outcome. 

What will you see, hear, feel?

How will others know you’ve got it?

What will they see, hear, feel?

In pairs, share ideas and capture on sticky notes.

Pool ideas and discuss as a team, building a rich shared picture of success.

6. Check Motivation

What is important to you / the team about your outcome?

What will this outcome give you or allow you to do?

How is it relevant to the purpose of your team?

7. Resource Check

What do you need in order to achieve your outcome?

What / who does your outcome depend on?

What will you now have to do differently to achieve it?

8. Future Pace

When will you have achieved your outcome?

Looking back from then, what was the first thing you did?

When did you do it?

What else did you do?

Imagine the first few steps of progress and how this will be achieved.

9. Progress

How will you measure progress?

How will you respond as new information about your outcome emerges?

10. Reality Check

Is this outcome realistic and achievable?

If not, what needs to change?… if yes, let the fun begin!

11. Check Out

Once you’ve worked through all your outcomes for the session, close the meeting with a “check out” question. E.g. What have you enjoyed about working together today?

Taking turns, and without interruption, give everyone the opportunity to appreciate a highlight from the session.

Be creative and experiment to make this framework your own.

If you have any questions about the process, please ask… and do let me know how you get on. 

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About Karen…

Karen is on a mission to inspire leaders to define and align with the purpose of their organisation. In so doing, foster more meaningful and engaging workplace cultures, where people matter.

Karen is known for her passion and expertise in leadership development and change facilitation. The impact of which has a positive influence on performance and the way leaders lead within their organisation.

For an exploratory conversation about the health of your workplace culture, message Karen at karen@karenmasonassociates.co.uk.