Inspiring your teams is the new competitive advantage
We’ve long known that the key to unlocking sustainable performance is not just to focus on results. Rather, lasting impact occurs when companies apply equal rigor and resources both to how they make money and how they run the place – something we refer to as performance and health. Companies with this dual focus outperform their peers on almost every financial indicator we’ve seen.
Talented athletes have always emerged from Africa. But no other nation on the continent has been able to match Kenya’s consistent ability to produce champions year in, year out. Theories abound as to why this is the case. Some argue genetics is a factor. Others say a lot of runners hail from the Rift Valley, a part of the country with high altitude, and this gives the athletes an edge.
Just in 2011 at the World Championships in South Korea, it finished third behind the mighty Americans and Russia. At the Boston Marathon, for example, Kenyan athletes are so dominant that the race is now jokingly referred to as the “Kenyan Intramural Championships.” The Kenyan team has been exceed the expectations of many, and what is the secret sauce to their dominance? For sure it is not the weather, the food or the training. We believe that the inspiration the team gets is what makes them the mighty lions they are. This philosophy can easily be transferred to the workplace. At the moment, performance and health at the organisation level continues to remain paramount to creating lasting results, a true competitive advantage requires applying the same lens to individuals to inspire and enable them on the ground as they undertake different roles.
For leaders, this means working on four exclusive areas:
How is the bottom-line achieved: for employees to effectively carry out the competitive advantage role, they need to be informed on how the business makes money. Simply put, you don’t expect someone to bring drinking water at your table if you didn’t inform him to bring. For the employees to focus on organisational performance, they should have a clear picture of the long-term strategy, and where and how value will be created in the short-term, whether it is with cost reductions, acquisitions or other strategic initiatives. This is a source of inspiration for the winning teams.
How does the company work, who does what: Success is organised. The more structured a team works, the higher the chances of success. How does a team member’s role affect the bottom-line? Your team’s health is determined by how well your employees are able to align according to how the organisation is managed and their ability to execute their goals with minimal friction, and continuously reinvent themselves in service of their broader strategy. Easier said than done, but it works. Inspiring your employees will help them to know how you run your place and that will motivate them to work towards that direction. This will spur their performance standards and thus earning you an incredible competitive advantage.
How to bring in the results: Value starts with a shared goal, a shared future and a shared determination to win. Organisations that win, often share their vision and goals with their employees. This will help them to understand how to create value for the organisation; this is only after the individuals have the big picture of the that they get inspired to do more, achieve more and keep winning. Entrepreneurship scholars assert that to know how individuals are the best competitive advantage in the new market, make the business value agenda clear to them. Let them have it in their fingertips. The Kenyan team knows this so well, in that to bring results isn’t about just starting a race and winning, but to ensure the results are evenly distributed amongst each team mate. A team win is shared more than an individual win.
How to nurture positive culture: Interestingly, the Kenyan team for the IAAF or athletic races all come from the same geographical location – Iten. The culture there is of hard-work, team spirit and collective win more than the individual. The team mates align to team needs not, singular output. For individuals to understand how they behave in relation to the organisation’s culture; it is important to help them to understand how they will be required to behave and engage with their respective team and how they will support the organisation’s strategy to achieve their own performance objectives they set in the last step. This can only be done when the organisations empower them by providing just-in-time tailored coaching that takes into account people’s unique roles personalities and performance roadblocks. At CrystalPerk, there are numerous training that are available for team culture and building on what the team will consider a success collectively. Companies that zero in on how individuals behave capture an additional productivity output for their team compared to the ones that don’t.
In conclusion, informing your employees on the four principles explained above will open their eyes and see the big picture of your organisation, you will inspire them and trigger them to work towards the organisation goal and purpose. For more of CrystalPerk informative tips and stories, contact us and subscribe to our weekly and monthly papers.