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Entries from September 2017

Get Connected!

20th September 2017


Connected teams


Can you recall a time when you were working in a team and had the feeling that everything was moving along brilliantly? The team was working well together. There was a sense of creativity and fun and you were producing great results. As you remember that time, ask yourself:

‘What were the factors that made it all happen? How did it feel like to work with this team?’

My guess is you felt connected to the moment, the challenge, the task, the team and to yourself. It might have been a big challenge and at the same time it was all manageable. Everyone felt connected!

How can you recreate the circumstances that resulted in such a successful and fulfilling work experience?

Creating the right environment 

Many leaders are waking up to the fact that the most important factor for the success of their team or organisation is culture. The way you behave together can make or break the organisation or team.

Creating the ‘right’ culture is not like installing a process or system. It is not static. It’s dynamic, something that is growing, very much like a garden. To grow a successful garden you must prepare the soil, plant the right seeds, and then maintain an environment that optimises the growth of healthy plants. For example ensure adequate water, sunlight and compost to stimulate growth root out the weeds that impede the growth of the desired plants.

This work involves everyone. You need to invest time to connect to your team. Then you must make sure that the systems you have and the structure is aligned to the environment you want to create. Most important of all is that you walk-the-talk and give recognition to positive and wanted behaviour as well as acting firmly on unacceptable behaviour.

Recognising when things are not aligned and connected

When everyone and everything is aligned things happen easily and effortlessly.

When there is little alignment the following can happen:

  • Conflict(s) within team, with customer, with Steering Committee, with the line organisation
  • Conflicting needs/demands
  • Lack of trust among stakeholders
  • Your stakeholders don’t share the same agenda
  • Different view on deliverables
  • Conflicting requirements/directives
  • Lack of aligned line management commitment
  • Team members unhappy – leave the
  • Communication problems:
    • Lack of open and honest communication
    • The team members and/or different sub-teams do not co-operate/communicate
    • Information hoarding
    • Relationship conflicts and / or political agenda leading to blame and manipulation in communication

By investing in activities that clarify our relationship issues up front and throughout the team life cycle, we will enable the team to better focus on the task and work more effectively.

Successful leaders focus on communication and empowering their teams to deliver both the long and short-term strategy.

How aligned is your team?

If you want a harvest in a year, grow a crop…

If you want a harvest in ten years, grow a tree…

If you want a harvest that will last for a life time, grow people.

-Chinese Proverb

If you feel you need some help in aligning your team and creating an environment for success email me to set up a free discovery all to see what could be done.

What great managers do to foster engagement in their teams

6th September 2017

Team Engagement

Great managers release the energy and potential of people. They do this by:

  • Selecting for talent
  • Defining the right outcomes
  • Focusing on strengths
  • When developing someone, helping them find the right fit for their future

It sounds really simple and yet most organisation don’t have great engagement results.

Gallup conducted some brilliant research 20 years ago around what it takes to engage employees and I think it stands true today. Here is a summary of what they found:

The Hierarchy of Engagement

From joining an organisation to being fully engaged is a journey, and the research identified there is a sequence that each employee goes through.

Base camp: What do I get?

When you first start a new role, your needs are about what is expected of you. How much you will earn, whether you’ll have an office etc. It’s about having the tools to do your job effectively.

Camp 1: What do I give?

As you progress your perspective changes and you start asking different questions. You want to know how you are doing and your individual contribution, so feedback is key.

Camp 2: Do I belong here?

As you progress further so does your perspective and this is when you start to ask questions around whether you belong. Is everyone else driven the same as you are?

Camp 3: How can we all grow?

When you get to this stage, you are impatient for everyone to improve, you want to make things better, to learn, to grow and innovate. All the other questions have to be satisfied before you get to this stage.

What do great managers do?

Great managers take aim at base camp and camp 1 and nurture people to give of their best and play to their strengths. They make it a daily/weekly event by:

  • Connecting with each employee
  • Focusing on outcomes
  • Looking to the future to get the best out of their employees.

If someone isn’t performing they identify the gap, provide the support and if that doesn’t work find a job that is right for them.

They know that the core of a strong and vibrant workforce is engagement.

If this has whet your appetite you can find out more in the book First break all the rules.

“Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

Peter Drucker





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