Monday, January 24, 2011

Lead change across your team

The new year is well and truly off and running. Many hope that this year will see the US get back to moderate growth. We can play our part here by ensuring our team is aligned to make the most of the year in front of us.

Before your team settle down with the to same old goals each member has had for the last few years, why not take these steps to gain better alignment and produce some powerful group goals to sharpen the performance of your team.

 Step one get your team together for a brainstorming session. Have each member communicate their worst problem they see. In 30 minutes you should have 6-7 real problems your team faces. Spend 15 minutes or so on each problem defining what it is. Take care not to go into solution mode, what you want is a very detailed description of what the issue is.

Step two take each of these problems and have the team vote them, most impact through to least impact, should they be solved. The best way to do this is to give each person three votes with weighting of one, two and three. What you should find is that when you total all the votes there will be a clear division of those the team as a whole feel are important rather then those that just one or two feel are important.

Step three, Divide your team into smaller teams and have each of the small teams take one of the high priority problems as one of their goals for the year. Research has shown that if these groups come from different functions within your team there is a strong probability of a solution being found. While your are at this session it is important for them to turn these problems into SMART goals.

Step four, have each member commit to the action plan for their team goal and make it the second priority goal behind their most pressing personal goal.

Step five, we must ensure the goals become a reality in each persons yearly goals setting. We also need to take notes on where we see we will be needed to support these goals.

The benefits of setting the team goals this way is that all members of your team are aware of the broader goals, this will by default give them some empathy and help should any of the sub-teams press anyone for assistance.

Our role as leaders is to steer the conversation, problem and goal setting so the team will make the most impact for the overall team. Importantly we must monitor these gaols and assist to move any roadblocks. Just think if at the end of the year your team could solve you most pressing top four problems , what a better position your team will be in.

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