In which league are you playing?
We have never before seen a more rapidly changing business environment. Most forecasts are indicating that the next five years will be even more challenging or including much more opportunities depending on how you would like to look at it.
Running a company today means that you need to act fast and adapt to the changing circumstances. Your company also needs to increase its capacity to meet the ever–changing market demands.
Some companies deal with change by pushing their employees to work harder and harder. In those cases, we start to notice the negative consequences of applying such a strategy (or lack of strategy).
Only the businesses that are progressively meeting the expectations of modernization and are foreseeing changes in their work environment will be fit enough to compete at a higher level.
So, now ask yourself this question: At what business level are you going to compete in the future?
If you were playing football it would be clear in what league you were playing. Every week you would play matches against other teams and you rank yourself in the series or league. If you win you place yourself higher and if you lose lower.
So, two questions would then be:
How do you benchmark your team versus other teams?
Is your team trained and competent enough to play in a higher league?
If you then realise that you need to be better in order to win or maybe you want to play in a higher league, you will have to take action. In football it would be self-evident that you would need to practice more and find players that are better fit for the job. The fiercer the competition, the better the players.
- What do you need to develop in your team to meet the future competition?
- How do you train your team today?
- How do you ensure that you attract the right players (sorry team members)?
To be better equipped for the job, you will have to learn that it is not only about getting the best players and training them. It is also about the importance of teamwork and high performance in teams. You can only achieve this by setting clear expectations, clear direction, ensuring psychological safety, trust and common values.
- Does everyone in your team know what is expected of them (how do you know?)
- Do you have a shared purposed and direction? (Have you verified this?)
- What is the level of psychological safety in your team?
When you want the team in shape for a tournament you would need to build a trustworthy environment and ensure that everyone knows what to do in different situations.
If you decide to change the strategy you are using (e.g. playing 4,4,3 instead of 2,2,3,4) you would also have to be aware that it would take a significant amount of training before you can get this new strategy to work with your team of players.
- What does your strategy look like?
- How much time have you spent training, repeating and ensuring that everyone knows what to do? (or have you mentioned it just once in a power point presentation)
After each match you play and after each training session, you would sit down and make sure that your team gets feedback. It is important to verify what they did well and underline what they need to improve both as a team, as well as on an individual level.
- How often do you sit down and give each other feedback in your team?
- When did you evaluate the quality of your most important meetings?
- What would be the consequences of giving and receiving feedback more frequently?
Have you ever heard about a successful team that has a yearly appraisal and then let the players play for one more year before they get feedback on how they perform?
Finally, it would be very clear to you, if you have a team in a third division, that you would need some extra time to train them to meet the competition in division 1 or the super league.
In reality you are not leading a football team (or maybe you do), but most likely you are in charge of a team or an organisation in the corporate world. However, the question remains: In what league are you playing? How do you make sure that your team is fit enough to compete at a higher level next year?
If you don’t have a development plan and a process in place for your team it is high time – the future is yours.
Enjoy your learning journey – Stay in tune and make sure you sustain your ability to deliver high quality work in your current and future position. Lastly – don’t expect and wait for someone else to do it for you.