Talent is precious. And as we move from a manufacturing model to a creativity model, it’s never been more apparent that our ideas are the equity of our future. And creative talent is essential to make those ideas come to life.
Think of talent as your human capital. You can’t afford to hire the wrong talent and you can’t hope that uninspired talent will perform effectively.
Similar to plant life, different talent has different needs. While some plants thrive on direct light and lots of water, others will die under the same conditions.
So how do you manage your green house of ever-changing talent? What do you do to stay tapped into what your talent needs to grow and perform?
Creation is awkward. It’s not supposed to be easy to engineer and envision something you never have before.
Many of us think of the ‘arts’ and creative pursuits when we think of creation, but creation expands into so many other areas. Think about relationships, businesses, environments, passions, priorities, skills, and life!
Even if the project or your idea may look like something you’ve done in the past, time, experience, perspective, process, and technology are just a few of potential influencers that add nuance to making this particular creation come to life.
Assessing Your Performance
You are your business.
As solopreneurs, your biggest strengths and weaknesses are highlighted and amplified through your businesses.
The most incredible part of your business? Everything that happens is dictated by and catalyzed through you. Did I also mention this can be the most overwhelming part, too?
It’s important to be able to recognize where are you making the most difference in your business and where are you holding your business back. And while I have never met a solopreneur who wasn’t analyzing their business and gauging next steps, they are often caught in the cycle of working “in” the business versus finding time to work “on” it.
Most people know what they do and don’t do well. And, those that aren’t aware, deserve to be educated. Here are some top tips on how to give clear, useful performance reviews that will help develop your employee(s).
1. Have your employee fill out their own evaluation as their manager is getting a full 360 degree view (in some cases this may be you).
2. Get a FULL 360 degree view (boss, peers, direct reports)
3. Compare the 360 with their self-assessment. Marry the results.
4. Give employee the results.
5. Meet with employee a week later to help them create a plan of action to leverage strengths, and improve on weaknesses.
6. Manager and employee check in each quarter to see where the employee is in relationship to their plan. Manager coaches as need be.
If you have used other proven methods you’d like to recommend? Please share!
Are you a Solopreneur? While you may not have employees, you have relationships with vendors and partnerships that help you fulfill your brand and work. Here are some recommends for how to fulfill this with your vendor relationships, so the cogs can be removed while the valuable relationships can continue to grow and evolve.
Assessing Your Vendors/Alliances/Partnerships
As a solopreneur, you may not have employees, but successful solopreneurs have partnerships and alliances that help them get their business done… well.
Similar to employee performance reviews, I recommend a partnership review at least once a year to keep the relationship growing and evolving. Here’s how it might look…
- Identify the vendors you use regularly to get things done. Some ideas: designers, assistants (virtual or real life), copywriters, bookkeepers, printers, etc.)
- List out the top 3 based on volume, their value, their potential impact on your business.
- Think through each relationship. Are you happy with the work they produce and results they create for you? What works beautifully? What needs some adjustment?
Some ideas: communication, timing + deadlines, quality of the work, metrix, costs, etc.
- At this point, you can make the decision to end a relationship and find some new partners in that domain OR move on to number 5.
- Find a time to connect in-person with your top pics. I encourage giving people a heads up that you are looking at ways to be more effective and productive as partners prior to your meeting. Let them know that you want their input in that conversation. You might want to help them prepare by giving them a few questions to think about (e.g. what’s working well, what could work better, any other information about growth and/or operational changes that might effect how you work together).
- Meet. Share the love. Share constructive insights. Solidify your relationship.