Are You Turning Down A Bonus?

When did you last see a project promising a 50% uplift in results?   I’m guessing it wasn’t recently. If you ever have. Imagine the focus, energy and action that would flow immediately into making that project happen. Even before any results flowed it would be a fantastically exciting and motivating prospect. If you’re the Director proposing it, that would be even better still. If you’re in HR, and seen as marginal to the top team, it would be even more amazing. Every Leadership Team has this opportunity. It’s a big assertion but when we asked leaders and members of teams about the cost of dysfunction in the top team, that was exactly what they told us. Could do (much) better: every Leadership Team underdelivers. The biggest surprise in our research was the discovery that all Leadership Teams, almost without exception, thought they could and should do far better. Even those who classed their current teams as performing well said they felt the organisation could perform 45 per cent better
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Categories: Changing Your Team, Learning Conversations, Relationship Conversations, and Why Leadership Teams Matter.

Never Reorganise Again!

Hmmm… Reorganisations, we all bear the scars… I remember my first experience of ‘reorganisation’. It seemed an ordinary day until word got round that people were being called in and made redundant. We waited all morning for the tell-tale single ring on our phone which could mean the end of our time at the company. I survived, and so got to see the months of disruption with staggered departures, reallocation of work, leaving parties and collective resentment. The relationship between us and the company changed that day. It was never quite the same again. Since that time I’ve had far too much experience of imposing reorganisations. There were always good reasons. We always agonised about how to minimise the impact – on the company and on individuals. Every one significantly dented the performance of the organisation in the short term and damaged the relationship with its people for much longer. Very few made a positive difference to performance. Even the cost savings were elusive – with people being moved rather
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Categories: Changing Your Team, Stories and Case Studies, and Why Leadership Teams Matter.

Team Alignment – a great idea but what does it mean in practice?

Most members of leadership teams would recognise the conflict and ineffectiveness that arises from members pulling in different directions.  Team alignment is much discussed but few leaders agree exactly what it means, let alone know how to achieve it. It’s simpler than you might think and this article shows how.   Alignment – the Holy Grail for leadership teams? Every leader I have met would recognise this image as a representation of a team who are working to different agendas and looking to different goals.               Enormous energy is wasted by all of the members of these teams in understanding and reconciling the different positions, and by the leader in particular. Even when the competing viewpoints are brought together the discussions and decisions that ensue are usually poor and badly implemented. These compromises take two forms:- In order to gain agreement, a ‘lowest common denominator’ compromise is reached. Everyone knows that it’s a sub optimal answer but also accepts that it’s the best that
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Categories: Changing Your Team, Delivery Conversations, and Why Leadership Teams Matter.

How do you get your team pulling in the same direction?

Focus is the price of excellence A former colleague of mine was fond of repeating this at every available opportunity. It may be a little trite but it is also true. Whether you are talking about individual high achievers, teams or whole organisations – one thing that is true of them all is a relentless (even obsessive) focus on a few, critical things. Repetition, dedication, energy, persistence and determination are all brought to bear on a narrow set of priorities – so it is not surprising that capability then grows and performance improves. When I was setting up in business someone said to me that if my offer didn’t hit at least one of the clients top three priorities they would never buy. The reason for this is simple; every leader has a long list of things they know need to be done or changed. Unfortunately, they also have to live with the daily reality that they (and their organisations) simply do not have time to act on them all.
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Categories: Priority Conversations.