As you are building your team(s) it’s important to have a clear goal for what you want to achieve. At a high level, it should all be based around building a high performing team. If that is not your goal, I would highly recommend you start thinking about it now.

You as a manager / leader should be continually looking to improve performance, not only on a team member perspective but also as an overall team.

Generally what I see is that this is not a high priority as people are always too busy managing up the chain.. and my answer to that is..

If you are too busy to improve, you will always be too busy!

Improving performance and effectiveness always requires extra lift in the beginning, however the benefit (or goal) should be that it will release capacity long term so you can add more value with the same resourcing, that is more bang for your buck.

In previous videos you would have learnt about a number of different ways to achieve this for example

  • Putting your team members in strength based roles
  • Treating them with respect
  • Giving them autonomy
  • And should they make a mistake, coach and mentor them so they can become better decision makers in the future

These are all great ways to improve them, however one of the fundamental principles behind all of these is actually getting them involved. At the end of the day, they are the subject matter experts so doesn’t it make sense to include them?

As when you and when these ideas turn into actual process improvements, what do you think is going to happen?

  • Achieve great buy in from the team as it was their idea
    • They will do everything in their power to make it work
  • Encourage more ideas to come from the team
  • Create stronger and more trusting relationships
    • Therefore stronger teams

In this video I tell a story of one of those amazing ideas that made such a difference to the team and the best thing about it, it can be applied anywhere!!


Building High Performing Teams Video Transcript

Hi, Shay Lynch here, director of Future state, and today’s video, I wanna talk about creating high performing teams and getting the best out of your team. Now we’ve talked about a number of different ideas and processes before like, we’ve talked about putting people in strength-based roles, we’ve talked about giving them respect, giving them autonomy, and as a leader, coaching them and mentoring them, there are all great strategies, right? But there’s another idea that I wanna talk about today, right? And that is about involving your team. Like it’s one thing giving them autonomy to do things but involving them in decisions in terms of how can you do things better tomorrow, and every day after that it’s a continuous improvement and iteration cycle, not just about telling them what to do, but actually getting ideas from them. We call it brainstorming the Japanese call it kaizen, which is a combination of two words kai, and zen which change for the good or for the better. So this is a simple brainstorming exercise and you can do is anytime you want, but the whole idea is to get ideas from your team. And you included by the way. So there’s two parts of this brainstorming idea, right? One is the ideas generation, then ideas evaluation, right? And then when you evaluate it, if it’s worth taking it to the next step, and maybe piloting an idea, right? This is something I do a lot with my customers and with their teams, because it’s a great way of getting them involved, getting them engaged. And we’ve all talked about before the importance of collaboration in your business. So this is a fantastic way of getting them involved. So today I just wanna talk about one idea that was working with one of my customers, one of our teams and what came out of it. Now, just give you some promise, this didn’t happen overnight, this took a number of months by the time we got the idea, to the evaluation, to the pilot, to full scale implementation, so it does take time but when you have one of those ideas that’s worth spending the time, do it, and you will reap the rewards for the benefits of it. So what I wanna show you today is, right, I’ve just built a simple process here, right, four steps, I just wanted to simplify it. There was more involved in this particular process, right? And again, to simplify it, I’ve just put those smiley happy face there are just people. So I’ve just added, like there’s two people at every step. So the first step is marketing, and then sales, then operations and then delivery, right? And this is what you’d call the end to end process, right? And now again, as I said, there could be more macro steps involved here. But I just wanna keep this simple, right? So within each of these steps, right, there’s sub steps and activities that need to be done, all right? And we’ve talked about the value, non value, and necessary non value, right? Today, I’m just going to cover two of them. So that’s the value side and in terms of necessary non value, I’m talking about admin, right. So with every step along here, you have value adding activities, and you have admin activity. That’s just part and parcel of doing things you’ve got recording to do, you’ve got to take measurements, you’ve got to sign off things. There’s so many different things that each step needs to do inside of that core value add parts, right? So marketing, the value there is lead generation, the first step of the sales funnels, Sales is all about bringing them through the funnel and getting the sales. When you get to sell, you have to operate, you have to deliver, you have to build a product or whatever your business is and then you have to delivers it, right? Build and deliver, right? So that’s the sort of high level process I don’t wanna go through today. And again, as I said, you can divide between value and admin activities, right? So what are the ideas that we came up with, right? We talked about end-to-end and one of the team members talked about, well, we’re not really talking about a conveyor belt, right? Because things are going round and round and round and we said yes, absolutely. It’s a conveyor belt things keep moving, right? What happens if something stops? What happened if there’s a blockage, right? Or there’s something, there’s a build up of activities, that’s preventing something to get to the next level. And we talked about bottlenecks and barriers all the time, right? So for example, right? So say if we took this process, and we turned it into sort of a cyclical process with marketing and sales and ops and delivery and back to marketing, right? So in order for the conveyor belt to keep moving, there needs to be constant flow, right? There needs to be constant flow in order for that to keep churning away. Okay, so what happens if there’s a blockage somewhere so say for example, there’s a lot of, we talked about sales, right? Say for example, they’re talking about year end, okay? And they have a lot of admin work, so all the team are stuck doing admin work. So no sales are happening. That means marketing or generating leads, the admin work is stopping, the team’s doing the value adding activities, therefore, everything slows down in ops and delivery. So this is a blockage, okay. So how can we get over this blockage? What can we do as a team, right? So this is what came out of one of their brainstorming, or Kaizen sessions that we have is well one, if we look at the different activities, as I said, there’s value and admin work in every part of the process. That’s just a given right? So what happens if we say, took some of these people of each team, what happens if we cross train? What happens if we’re able to give them some sort of skills in each of them on the admin side, forget about the value, like the core value, marketing, people are really good at marketing because that’s what they love to do, right? Same as sales, ops and delivery, there’s the core elements, you got into sales because you love making connections with people, right? So what happens if your admin work is stopping you from doing that? How about if you could train certain people across, say at marketing you could train certain people at marketing that can do the admin work and sales or the admin work in operations or the admin work somewhere else when it comes to the delivery side of things, when you’re signing up paperwork when you’re building paper, like TLC, service agreements, or whatever, KPIs that you’re gonna commit to? What happens if you create an a team that could do all of those sort of admin activities? That will free up the people to keep this movement and reduce, you’ll never completely eliminate admin work, that’s just part and parcel but the whole purpose is to mitigate it as much as possible, if you can eradicate it, fantastic but the goal is to mitigate it so you can keep this flow moving, right? So yes, this was a simple idea, right? But it took a lot of thinking about, brainstorming further, developing, piloting, and then putting it into action, right. So the benefits here were, stuff was continually moving. So where traditionally at certain times of the year, they would see a slowdown in certain things because of all the older activities that need to be done. The fact was that this was minimal going forward, so you have a more balanced demand and when it comes to sales, and then when it comes to sales, your demand is balancing operations and delivery and marketing. It keeps a more balanced approach to the business and the whole point, the real benefit here was not just about keeping the process going, which is obviously one of the main agreements for your business, the whole purpose here was getting people working together collaborating across different teams, creating those glues, now we talked about it before, about those silos that you get in business all the time. This is a natural way of removing those silos because you’re getting people to collaborate across different teams. And then they see, and the great thing about that is that people get to see, so if marketing and then they’re going to sales, they get to see the pains that the salespeople have on a day to day basis, because it’s very easy to look in and go, sales aren’t doing their job because that’s what I looked from the outside but you don’t see the nitty gritty stuff that they have to do that nobody gives credit for anything, but they just see no output so they think sales are not doing their job. However, when you have this conveyor belt approach where people can be cross trained in the several activities, they start to learn and appreciate the pains and so many other benefits that can come out of that because when they know certain pains here, then you can ask if you’re in marketing, what can we do to help alleviate that pain on our side, there may be nothing but it’s something worth exploring. There’s so many benefits to having this sort of approach and again, this came out of a simple idea by someone in a workshop, in a team that I was facilitating. And what happened then, the best thing about it was because it was their idea, the implementation, they were all excited about building it and making it happen. They were not giving up, they stuck with it, they were determined. I helped facilitate to ensure that it was guided in the right direction. It was their idea, they did it. It was their success. And there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do this in your business tomorrow, right. So again, all the different things that you can do to build high performance teams and again just to recap, put people in strength, understand where they are, and what they would like to do, what can they offer and exploited them, they really enjoy it. Give them respect and autonomy. It’s so important treat people like adults and if you treat them like adults. They will probably act like adults. And always coach and mentor, always help them become better than they were today. And then again, this whole concept of involving them, and brainstorming continuous brainstorming cycles, there’s a company called Atlassian in Australia that started doing this a long time ago, they would send their IT software company, they would let some of their engineers their IT engineers go off on a few days and just go, just brainstorm ideas and come back with a solution. So they actually started off with a 24 hour period that actually called FedEx Delivery overnight. So go off and brainstorm for a day, come back with ideas and high level solutions to these ideas. And let’s see, are they worth considering? This was so successful in this company well it started as a once off, but it was so successful, and eventually went from once off, to once a quarter, to once a month, to once a week and they ended up calling it the 20% rule. And that worked for their environment. I’m not just saying that’ll work for everyone, but the whole concept is they gave their team space to develop ideas, to brainstorm, to do Kaizen, and then come up with solutions and it’s all about involving them and sharing the success at all levels in the business. I hope this makes sense. I hope you can see it. If there’s any questions, please get in touch. I’d be delighted to help but in the meantime, This is Shay Lynch saying thanks for listening and thanks for watching.