Creating Legendary ProductivityJul 11, 2022
Where do you think awesome productivity comes from? Is it great leaders? Or, possibly superb employees? Is it something intrinsic in the organization itself?
Before we answer that question, think of a time when you watched (or maybe even played on) a team that by all rights should have lost against a superior opponent...but they did not lose! They won. Even when all the odds were stacked against them, why did the so called lesser team win?
When we look at situations like this, the answer seems fairly simple. It rests on a few key success factors:
- Everyone on the team knows exactly what their role is and what they need to do.
- Each team member places team accomplishment above their personal achievement.
- Each team member practices accountability faithfully.
- The team does not freeze or flee in the face of the challenge.
- The very heart of the team is collaboration...shared goals, shared purpose, shared values.
- TRUST - the team thrives on trust.
The sports focus is a simple one to use as an example. We have all seen this happen. What did you think when you witnessed one of these upsets?
Legendary productivity is a rare occurrence.
We see it from time to time when an organization or team reaches a mountain top moment. But is this type of productivity sustainable? Let's explore this at a deeper level.
There are so many obstacles in the way of reaching legendary productivity:
- Lack of clarity
- Insufficient equipping of employees and leaders
- Outside influences
- Internal politics
- Differing engagement levels
- Poor leadership
- Lack of accountability practices
- Low trust levels
These are just a few of the roadblocks to reaching legendary productivity. But if we look closely, and drill down far enough, the common elements underneath these roadblocks are very similar.
Think about each of these roadblocks. What do they have in common?
- Uncertainty. In an environment of uncertainty, chaos reigns. Chaos may not be the destructive anarchy that many people think of. It may simply be people not having a clear focus and a clear understanding of what their individual, team, and organizational success pathway looks like.
- Misalignment. People may be working at their maximum, but if their efforts are not aligned with team and organizational goals, then their efforts will never reach optimal outcomes.
- Skill gaps. Success of teams and organizations will always be limited by current leadership capacity and competency. Take leadership to its most basic level...a person leading themselves well to get their best outcomes and productivity. In essence, everyone is a leader, even if they are only leading themselves.
- Trust. Trust, or the lack of trust, touches every person in the organization. Trust fosters:
- Effective communication
- Crucial conversations
Each of these can be identified through a focused assessment process. Better yet, actionable data can be gathered to create clarity and impactful action steps.
Legendary productivity only happens when something changes. Here are 3 steps to productivity transformation:
- Bring leaders together to form a guiding coalition. These leaders must create shared goals, purpose, and the success pathway for the organization. Leaders can disagree in private, but when in public, the leadership team MUST be united!
- Assess the current reality of the organization and its teams. Be honest. Any attempt at hiding things or creating a facade will stop the transformation. Be curious, not judgmental. Explore everything. Gain as much insight as possible. Identify what is working and what is not...IN THE CURRENT REALITY! Don't give in to keeping old ways of doing things that worked well in the past but are not providing the same value today. The familiar is comfortable, but not necessarily productive.
- Create a success pathway for the organization (and then each team, and eventually each individual). Here is a tool I have created to guide the creation of a success pathway for an individual:
The SUCCESS Pathway
Self-awareness. The employee must be made aware of their role, the impact it has on others, and the resources available to them.
- How will you ensure that the individual clearly understands these?
Understand acceptable behavior and performance. What is the specific behavior and performance that is expected in the role?
- What will you say to the individual that clarifies the specific performance/behavior standards for the role?
Competencies needed. Be specific about what competencies are needed. Does this include specific certifications, professional designations, ongoing learning and development?
- How will you create a pathway for the individual to grow in their competencies? How will you ensure they understand the time frames for this growth?
Consequences. What are the specific consequences that are tied to performance/behavior? Consequences can be either rewarding or redirecting.
- What consequences (both reward and punitive) will you put in place to drive the individual’s accountability and motivation in their role?
Expectations. What specific and measurable goals/KPIs must be met by a certain time frame.
- What time bound goals will you attach to the role and how will those goals be measured (be specific)?
Schedule. Schedule regular coaching/review meetings to track progress, answer questions, provide support, and guide the employee throughout the process.
- How will you support the individual on their pathway to success through regularly scheduled coaching, support, and progress meetings?
Supervise. Actively supervise the employee throughout the process. This includes a consistent performance evaluation process.
- How will you maintain accountability and a sense of importance and urgency throughout the process?
This tool comes out of our Cultivating Accountability course. This course provides a step by step approach to creating a culture of accountability which leads to turning goals into reality.
If you want legendary productivity, it starts with embracing transformation.
Copyright © 2022 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected]
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