You are constantly seeking ways to bring more value to your organization. A new product line, a new marketing campaign, or a new customer success strategy. Once you have determined the goal, the next step is to assemble a team who can put a strategy together and execute your plan.
A team must be diverse to succeed. Structuring project teams to include multiple skill sets and personalities is imperative for efficient and effective deployment. Understanding how people process information and what they will do with that data is often overlooked when project teams are being assembled.
Imagine you had a team who approached a project all in the exact same manner. Say all the team members processed information through a lens that thought “how” something should be done. They all deemed that “how” was the most important way to approach the project. This team might come up with a great way to accomplish the project, but overlook other important factors such as who the end-user will be, or about the timeline? It would be a cost-sucking nightmare that in the end would likely miss the target.
What is involved in selecting the right members for any team? First, you must look at the skill set; that is obvious. Secondly, you will need to understand the lens each person uses naturally to problem-solve. Evidence can be found in what they like to do and what parts of other projects they have gravitated toward in the past. Lastly, seek to understand how that natural ability affects the choices that they make. Think about what it is that motivates some people to rush toward danger to confront it head on but others flee the situation. This understanding can be more complicated to unearth but it is worth the effort. This last step is necessary to ensure that you have the right people on the team.
We have developed a proprietary program to understand an individual’s primary methods for processing information. Once you have identified the skill sets that are vital to a project team, we can stack the deck for you with the right mix of thinkers and executors to ensure no aspect of the project is overlooked.
Previously, we’ve demonstrated the importance of stacking your teams with the right cross-section of talent, but how well the team performs will depend on a variety of issues beyond the skill set. Factors such as their level of buy-in to your idea or the overall cultural climate of your organization will also affect performance.
Human beings naturally resist change, but reinventing your business strategies and improving systems and performance are necessary for business success. A key factor in rolling out any new function is understanding the motivations of the individuals whom you are asking to change.
People are motivated differently, knowing how your individual employees are motivated will help you gain traction with your initiative. Some are motivated by money, some by recognition and some simply by the feeling of accomplishment.
Some time ago I worked with a ten-year-old business that had grown into the awkward stage of adolescence. The employees were tasked with taking on more responsibility, exceeding revenue targets, tighter reporting, and more professionalism. The company’s founders were stuck in their previous ways of leading the business: through dictatorship, managing with a heavy hand, and focused on their own internal motivations, they knew nothing else. Problems began to appear and the leaders’ internal focus led them to believe the problem was with their staff. Yet, regardless of who the players were, the problems kept repeating themselves.
During internal campaigns, they generously put up contests to give away cash and gadgets but were often disappointed by the lack of ambition for people to exceed goals. It was apparent that some misalignment existed. They were constantly asking why their employees did not have enough fire in their belly to exceed expectations and hit targets?”As suspected, there were some unaddressed issues. Many employees had been working overtime without adequate time off. These employees were feeling under-appreciated, overworked, and, in some cases, simply used. The business had intended to create an atmosphere and culture of “work hard, play hard”. Yet, this was not even on the radar of their employees. Instead, they interpreted it to be a culture of “work hard, then work harder” so the business owners could get rich. It ended up producing a polar-opposite effect—it created additional tension and built resentment among the employees. The employees simply desired more time away from the office to spend with their families.
Eureka, the company now had a simple but powerful motivational tool: employee-earned time off.
The new incentive program costs were much less than the old incentive programs, but yet they created an energized buzz around the organization about positive change. Through a simple restructuring of the scheduling process, an internal marketing campaign, a bit of coaching, and some basic cross-training, we instituted a program that empowered the management team and motivated their employees to reach the company goals.
Are you getting the results you want? Are people really buying into your vision, mission, and goals? What new initiative are you working on that must achieve results? We can help.