February 22, 2011
Liz published this at 8:32 am
10-Point Plan: A High Performance Team
Keeping the Focus Is Fun
Whether we work for huge enterprise or help build the economy from your home, leaders know that we can only do so much on our own. To build a business that thrives, we need to rely on employees, partners, vendors, volunteers, and customer who pitch in to help us grow. It takes a team, a community to build anything that resembles a business. A great team can build a great business.
Anyone who’s assembled a great team knows that when you get the right people on the bus you make amazing things happen. And if you’ve been part of a team like that you probably also know that money isn’t what moves a team to greatness. As Peter Drucker realized, “money is a disincentive.” People notice when there’s not enough and it brings them down, but more doesn’t improve their performance in any predictable wya.
Those right people on the bus work for less money when they can do more …
more of the things that work,
more of the things they do well,
more of the things that get more done well,
more of the things that put meaning into what they do.
Those right people on the bus work for less money when they can do less …
less of the things that don’t work,
less of the things that they don’t do well.
less of the things that get in the way of great work — the meaningless work-like, useless,
out-of-date, without purpose, policy-driven, time-wasting, relationship-breaking, stupid tasks — in other words, things that make work rather than get work done.
Getting the right team going in the right direction is challenge in time when time is at a premium. It takes more than just telling everyone “Do what you do well. Delegate to others what they do better. And don’t do what we don’t need to do.” Still, if we can get that kind of focus and momentum going, we’re well on our way to business that is responsive to customers, highly performing, and structurally sound.
Nothing beats reflection, checking in regularly as benchmark test to be sure we’re moving in the right direction. Here are five questions you, your team, and your business should be asking and answering at least once a week.
- What is the goal? What are we trying to do or say this week?
- What is the strategy that drives us? Where do we want to be by the end of the week?
- What’s missing from the team? Have we got the right people doing the right things? Do we have too much of one skill set and not enough of another? Do we need to rearrange things?
- What’s right / wrong with the process / structure / culture? Who needs resources, room, or support to do their best work? Who’s doing the wrong work?
- What rewards are ours to claim? How can we leverage them? Do we define, measure, and reward the outcomes we seek?
People, teams, and businesses can get off track in big leaps, but we usually lose our way incrementally by losing focus while doing what worked in the past. If you use the five questions to keep challenging your direction, you’ll find that the team soon will see every decision strategically.
How do you keep the focus to grow the high-performance business you want?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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