Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nine Steps for a Successful Visit From Higher

We enjoyed a visit this past Friday from a couple of senior leaders, as well as a few staffers, from our higher headquarters and the headquarters one up. A few weeks back, we had a similar visit, and our guests included THE senior leaders two levels up (my boss and his boss). Regardless of the degree of formality with these visits, they are always to some degree, tests and inspections. Sometimes you will get indications that the visit is formally or informally a test or inspection. Such indications could be found in the title of the visit (inspection, site assistance visit, program review). The itinerary or agenda may also provide clues. Further, who is on the visiting team (auditors, inspectors, quality control personnel) may indicate an inspection or test. Other times, there will be no such indications that the visit includes an inspection. But the visit is still, in many ways, a test. Everyone on the visiting team is observing and forming an impression, and will likely share that impression of you and your organization with someone at some point in the future. Think about it this way: if visitors from your higher headquarters come into your area and find discrepancies or problems that were not previously known at their level, do you not think that these details are going to be directly and immediately communicated to higher (perhaps with the connotation that they found something bad that you were trying to conceal)? In any case, it pays to prepare for these visits as if they are a test (because, once again, they are). Enough doom and gloom. Let's examine this from a positive perspective: while these visits can be stressful and challenging, they can also be exceptional opportunities to showcase superstar performers; communicate ideas, challenges, or issues; and obtain resources and support. I have gotten to see several of these visits during my time in the Army, from the positions of visitor, host, and casual observer. When the visited organization's leaders prepare, the conditions are set to allow these visits to go as well as possible. When the visited organization's leaders don't prepare, it creates the potential for the visiting party to not feel welcomed. This is a bad way to start a visit from higher. Further, during one of those times where I was the visitor, I received the treatment recommended in the list below, and I can't emphasize enough the value of a proper welcoming, forthcomingness with data and information, and just some basic hospitality and friendliness. It really made me feel special, and set the conditions for a positive, productive visit. for more info visit us

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