Clarity of vision and purpose.
In a recent McKinsey article the top dimension for high performing teams was ‘alignment on direction’ where there is a shared belief about what the company is striving toward. Successful businesses have worked out their vision, understand why they exist and have involved others in working out the plan. In Ken Blanchard’s Gung Ho! he talks about ‘worthwhile work.’ Giving people the understanding of how their role helps the business reach its overall goals inspires better performance and creates higher levels of engagement.
Is your message clear to the outside world?
In an increasingly competitive world your customers need to know what makes you unique. The message needs to be compelling and simple. Recently I attended a social media event where someone from Facebook was presenting. He was comparing the attention span of the average individual to that of a goldfish. Us humans came second at only 7 seconds. We do not have the tolerance for detail so, whatever your product and message, take the goldfish test and remember ‘content’ is king.
‘A journey of a thousand miles must start with a single step’ Lao Tzu
Having audacious goals and growth plans is great but the reality is that your success will come down to whether you are delivering on your customer promise, on a daily basis. No matter how many people you employ, your ability to translate your strategic objectives into simple steps taken by lots of individuals and teams will determine whether you arrive at your destination. There is an abundance of systems, models and tools to manage the workload but maintaining momentum will be more about the leadership and communications skills of your senior managers.
Create teams based on skill AND attitude
Celebrate the individuality of your employees. No two people are the same but the power of high performing teams is that they are more than the sum of its parts. We all have different preferences which means we view the world differently. Spend some time understanding the dynamics of your team. Check out www.16personalities.com for something that is simple and accessible. Building a team requires a blend of skills, knowledge and style to provide the best solutions and then you need to invest in leaders who can understand and realise the team’s potential.
Can you see the wood for the trees?
Even in the digital age where data is so accessible, the success of your business is likely to be determined by a handful of critical success factors. The challenge of identifying them has become far harder. Do you know yours? Once known, can
you report on them? Can you set some sensible targets? How do you ensure that ultimately someone is personally accountable for them? Effective targeting and measurement takes many months but adopt an agile approach. You will have some management data, however basic, so start measuring today.
What does performance management look like in your business?
Most people come to work to do a good job. We all have our off days but our productivity will be founded on how much time we spend contributing to the company goals. With the right recruitment, training, development and management good people will add value to your business. Do you know your star performers? Is everyone being measured? Are you celebrating and recognising great work?
Focus in the digital age
Never have we been so inundated with information. Even some of the founders of the social media giants are switching off their notifications. How do we retain our focus with constant distractions?
Be clear about your short, medium and long term goals. Have time where you switch off, literally and be ruthless in your prioritisation. Oh and perhaps find a ‘partner’ who can give you another perspective and help you pause for reflection!!