High Performing Teams and the Power of Dissent

Last month’s blog raised a lot of response and you all seemed to agree.  And although there was no disagreement we all know that diverting thoughts, out of the box thinking helps to create better decisions we don’t practice it.  What can be done about that?

I appreciate you because you are different

What is the half-life time of the value team diversity?  Team diversity in my book is something that goes far beyond race and gender.  The value of diversity in teams in unquestionable but how come so many organisations destroy this value the moment they can lay their hands on it?  
This team has to act as a one!  We have to be united! I am sure you have heard it all before and also seen new appointed leaders  ‘doing a clean-up’ and start with ‘a few good man’ to form a leadership team that can take the organisation to the next level …

Make onboarding a team effort 
Is it necessary? It depends. Sometimes you have to.  Think about major turnarounds involving reshaping current business models into something new whilst you suffer from devastating financial results.  But then, what does the new team look like? Here’s rule one:  don’t hire clones.  Make sure you appoint the crazy ones, the ones who dare to think and speak outside the box. The other day we discussed with a new appointed leader what kind of leadership journey would bring out the best in the new team. We concluded it all starts with understanding and appreciation the deeper motives of each individual.  Why does she work? What is the dream she is pursuing?  Exploring and experiencing motives this in any new team is one of the prerequisites for high performance.  

Dare to be different 
But what if you only appoint one new leader in an existing team? Here’s a thought:  dare to be different. Make onboarding not just the responsibility of the new leader.  Don’t put him in a programme. Put your whole team in an onboarding programme.  Adding one new player changes the whole system.  Will you treat the new appointed leader as the ‘the replacement of John’ or will you invest time of the whole team to explore and experience how the entrance of the new player changes the value and performance? Onboarding as a team effort will make the new leader feel very welcome and appreciated.  It is not just him fighting into the existing group. It is the group opening up at the start and discuss and adapt the implicit rules of engagement of that team.   All it takes is a bit of time from your team and the courage to reflect on team performance. Your bonus? A high performing team. Dare to be different, you will be appreciated for it. 

Who gives you permission to enter the group? The story of Brian

Who calls the shots when you enter a new group? Is it your direct manager, the team, yourself?
Everything in onboarding is geared around creating an environment where expectations are being synchronised, cultural and political assimilation can take place at its best. In fact it is all about influencing the system around you to make sure the new kid on the block can join the sandpit and start playing and become successful. Brent is a senior exec I have been working with for the last couple of months.  He was parachuted in quite a hostile environment: sink or swim poor structure and a couple of business challenges that did not allow any flaws.  How did he position himself on the monkey rock?

Resolutions for 2015? Enjoy the play!

The New Year is almost there and this is the time to think things over and look back. What went well, what to do more of and what to do different?  In the last couple of weeks I have reviewed the year with a lot of my clients. And what I got back was very different from the year before.  Everybody is much more optimistic, sees opportunities they want to jump on and are much and much more relaxed about the next 12 months than they were last year. There is a distinct “now that we have got this we will not let it slip away” kind of feeling.   A combination of action and reassurance that it will all work out.   Is there room at all for some 2015 resolutions to secure this feeling?  Yes there is one or two worth mentioning.

Changing ‘The System’ from within.

With many of my clients I have discussed the topic how to change the systems from within.  What are your options, risk, roadblocks, and opportunities? Some of them take a very instrumental approach with all the right lingo, tools, rewards, systems whereas others take a more developmental approach. You can only change how systems work if the people in it develop themselves in a different direction.  Then The Dutch Central Bank and The Authority Financial Markets published the report “Capacity for change in the financial sector”  a few weeks ago.  The outcome in n short: the financial institutions tick all the boxes but the behaviour doesn’t show a sustainable change.  What can you do about it?

Boosting organisational performance: the story of Karen

How long does it take before a senior exec is delivering what was expected whilst staying fit and healthy at the same time? Three months, six months a year maybe? When I asked a few Chief Human Resource Officers a few weeks ago they all tended to agree on something between 4-8 months. And if you could speed that up with 3-4 months? And maybe reach a higher performance level as well?  Without working harder and longer?  Can it be done?  Read the story of Karen.

Stress during Onboarding - Turning Fear into Fuel

Thank you all for all your stories how you control unhealthy stress. You were so open and honest about it. In this blog I will take through some aspects of onboarding that can be a big source for stress: expectations. Managing expectations is one of the key pillars of successful onboarding. And when you got that right you are - thank you for this wonderful quote A. - truly 'Turning Fear into Fuel.