Rapid-Cycle Design & Rapid Cycle Diagnostic

What is EDA’s Rapid-Cycle Design Process?

EDA’s innovative Rapid-Cycle Design includes two steps designed to meet the ever increasing need for  faster “time to market” in creating new executive/leadership development or talent management strategies, systems and/or programs, along with full engagement and ownership of line executives and  other key stakeholders:

  • Rapid-Cycle Diagnostics®
  • The Rapid-Cycle Design® Workshop

Rapid-Cycle Diagnostics

Rapid-Cycle Diagnostics is designed to reduce the time and cost of the needs assessment process and to increase engagement. The heart of our Rapid-Cycle Diagnostics® approach is a web-based needs assessment tool that is always tailored to your specific, unique situation. The web-based needs assessment can be created, implemented and analyzed in approximately 20% of the time of interviewing a typical 15% sample of the target audience. In addition, this approach makes it practical to reach many more people at minimal incremental cost. This provides the potential advantage of engaging everyone in the target audience, and therefore increasing the level of buy-in. Typically, we conduct interviews with a small number of key, senior stakeholders to test the conclusions drawn from the web-based needs assessment. The output of this diagnostics process is a report of findings and recommendations including a prioritized list of the development needs, i.e., the executive/leadership capabilities needed to successfully address your marketplace challenges and achieve your strategic objectives. These critical development needs form the basis for designing a high-impact executive development strategy, system and/or programs(s) for today’s executives and emerging/future leaders. Or, the talent management strategy and system required.

 The Rapid-Cycle Design Workshop

Rapid-Cycle Design allows us to cut the time to create a new strategy, system and/or program in half. EDA’s Rapid-Cycle Diagnostics® begins the process by identifying the prioritized executive capabilities that must be developed via the executive/leadership development strategy/system/program design.

The Rapid-Cycle Design Workshop accelerates the normal design process significantly by bringing all key stakeholders (HR, line executives, representatives of the target audience, advisory board members, etc.) together to analyze the results of the diagnostics/needs assessment and create preferred design options. The final design includes a draft of the overall executive/leadership development strategy/system, themes, objectives, and program elements, e.g., agendas, content, learning methods and preliminary faculty ideas. The output of the Rapid-Cycle Design® process includes a full design document. At this point, the project is ready to move to the remaining phases of EDA’s time-tested 5-step development process:

  • Material development & faculty sourcing/preparation
  • Pilot/initial session
  • Continuous improvement

What are the Rapid-Cycle Design® Outcomes?

  • Enhanced understanding of the marketplace challenges, and business vision, strategy and objectives
  • The executive/leadership capabilities required to successfully address the marketplace challenges, execute the strategy and achieve the business objectives
  • An executive/leadership development and/or talent management strategy to address the prioritized development needs
  • Specific executive/leadership development program designs to support the strategy
  • Creation of leadership competencies or update/modification of current competencies if they already exist, and a 360 feedback instrument based on those competencies
  • Identification of implementation issues and ways to ensure organizational support for the development strategy, programs & processes
  • Line leaders dedicated to the implementation of the development plans. “Champions” who are eager and willing to serve as ongoing “advisors”.

 What are the Advantages of This Process?

SPEED:  It could take many months to do a similar number of interviews and design work through traditional methods.

COST:  It would cost considerably more to interview the same number of people.

INCLUSION/ENGAGEMENT:  We can reach much larger numbers of leaders so they feel they have a hand in creating the strategy/programs, and therefore, their level of ownership increases dramatically. If they build it, they will come.

EASE OF USE:  It takes less than 30 minutes to complete the web-based needs assessment survey, compared to a 1-½ hour interview. Respondents can complete it at their convenience. People can opt-out, i.e., if they feel they are over-surveyed they can simply not complete the survey. This was important in creating the Weyerhaeuser Leadership Institute. They were very resistant to doing “another survey”. So, we had the business unit leaders send the survey to whoever they thought should complete it (most of them ended up sending it to all of their executives), and to make completion optional. Much to their surprise, about half of the people completed it – and not just filled it out, most added valuable write-in comments.

MULTIPLE POTENTIAL OUTPUTS:  If so desired, the process will yield the information needed to create any or all of these:  overall architecture, strategy, system for executive/leadership development and/or talent management, individual program designs, and a customized leadership profile and 360 leadership survey/feedback instrument.