Additional things I can do?


Additional things I can do?

As a Mentor, you are in a position to create and reinforce the enabling environment that inspires the three hallmark behaviours that emerge in 100-Day Challenges. The events of the 100-Day Challenge, and the way these are facilitated, are designed to create this enabling environment. But how leaders show up and interact with the team can reinforce this enabling environment, or undermine it. 

You represent the leaders, and you are the gatekeeper for their interactions with the team. Therefore, you can play a uniquely important role. 

Enabling environment

Elements

Sense of Urgency

At the Lift-Off Workshop, when the team presents its work plan, ask what new things they will be experimenting with in the first 30 days—reminding them that 100 days goes very fast… 

Commitment to Unreasonable Goal

At the Lift-Off Workshop, after the team presents its goal, ask how the goal compares to what was accomplished over the past 100 days. If there is a huge leap in performance, express your appreciation for their commitment to achieving a goal that looks so unreasonable. 

Equalised Power 

At every occasion possible, and especially when the team asks you to make a decision, remind them that for the duration of the 100 days, they are in charge and that you are here to support them. 

Power of Peers

When a problem is presented by the team, always ask “what do others think about this”, before offering your perspective. And where possible, build on the responses of others rather than “revealing the right answer” after everyone else has spoken. 

Autonomy and Self-Governance

If a team member comes to you directly requesting support or advice, ask them if they discussed this with the team and the team leaders and what they think. Try to redirect there rather than handle the matter yourself. 

Transparency about Performance 

If and when you join a team meeting, ask the team how they are doing against the goal. Remind them that it is always important to know where they are vis-a-vis the goal, even if they are not particularly thrilled about progress: “The sooner we know that we are behind, the more time we have to catch up!”

Clarity of Purpose

If and when you join a team meeting, early on in the meeting ask them to remind you about their goal. At times, teams get so caught up with the activities in their work plan that they begin to ignore the goal! 

Trust in Local Expertise & Leading with Confident Humility

These two elements go hand in hand and are at the core of what makes 100-Day Challenges so powerful. Team members gain confidence in themselves when they feel that leaders trust their expertise and are confident about their ability to achieve the impossible. How do you reinforce this as a Mentor?  Here are some ways to do this:

  • Never miss an opportunity to remind team members that they are in the best position to find the solutions: “you are closest to the problem, your solutions are more relevant than mine or anyone else’s”  
  • Do not hesitate to say that “you do not know the answer, and that you’ll research this or ask other leaders and come back to them”. 
  • Where possible, ask questions that inspire team members to think for themselves, rather than advocating for a position. Ask open ended questions, with genuine curiosity, rather than yes/no questions that might come across like an inquisition.

Thought starter reflection questions

Jot down thoughts on these questions – to the extent they are relevant to your experience at the session:
  • When did the mood in the event shift from “why are we here?” to “this could be interesting – I am excited to be part of this.” What triggered this shift? 
  • When did you have to go “off script” on the agenda or to change the agenda? What triggered this? What did you adjust? How did it go?
  • What was most surprising to you at the event?
  • What new insights did you gain about the issue at hand, and about the way leaders in the system interacted with each other?
  • Where did the conversation get stuck? What got it unstuck?
  • How would you characterise the level of trust among participants in the meeting? To what extent did this shift as the meeting progressed? To what do you attribute this shift, if indeed it happened?

Thought starter...

Reflection Questions 

Jot down thoughts on these questions – to the extent they are relevant to your experience at the session:

  • When did the mood in the event shift from “why are we here?” to “this could be interesting – I am excited to be part of this.” What triggered this shift? 
  • When did you have to go “off script” on the agenda or to change the agenda? What triggered this? What did you adjust? How did it go?
  • What was most surprising to you at the event?
  • What new insights did you gain about the issue at hand, and about the way leaders in the system interacted with each other?
  • Where did the conversation get stuck? What got it unstuck?
These are 100-Day Challenge Mentors. 

They did some work before you received the Challenge Note. This included:

  • Writing the Challenge Note, and making sure that the leaders of all the organisations represented on the team are comfortable with it – and committed to supporting the work of the team
  • Helping the leaders of these organisation recruit you and your colleagues to the team
  • Gathering some baseline data and other information that will help you and your teammates set your 100-Day goal and develop your plan.
  • Making sure all the preparations are made for a successful Lift-Off workshop, when you and your teammates will meet and get your 100-Day Challenge started. This includes venue, facilitation support, food, swags, comms, travel arrangements and whatever else is needed.

 

Mentors will participate in all or part of the Lift-Off Workshop, mostly at the start to provide context and answer questions, and at the end to give you and your teammates feedback about the goal and plan you develop.

During the 100 days following the Lift-Off Workshop, here’s what the Mentors will do:  

  • They will check in every two weeks with the team leaders to see how the team is doing and what support they and the team need.
  • They will keep other organisational leaders informed and engaged during the 100 days, and pull them in to help as needed.
  • They will participate in the last part of the Refuelling Workshop, halfway through the 100 days, to see what additional support the team needs, and to begin to plan with the team for sustainability and scale-up.
  • They will work with the team at the Sustainability Workshop to finalise recommendations on sustaining the results and building on the work of the team.