Today I’m talking about how you get momentum as a team.
This could be as part of an executive team, a leadership team, this could be YOUR team… if you’re running a team at work and you want to get momentum going.
The biggest challenge i see around this is that teams stagnate, and when they stagnate two major problems happen. One is that you as a leader get stressed. You get worried because you feel like you’re not thriving and you’re not getting the results you want and you know at the end of the year you’re going to be accountable for those. The second major problem is that you know it sucks to be part of the team and it sucks to be the leader when there’s a team that’s stagnating and going in a downwards spiral, whether it’s an executive team or a team within the organisation.
What we want to do is CHANGE THAT. We want to switch that team from going in a downwards spiral to a team that has momentum and is moving forward. The way to do that is completely different to the way most people go about it. It’s about not going too far in advance and setting a big platform in the future, it’s about starting with where you are now and building momentum on the things that are important.
I’m going to share that framework with you so that you can use it in your own team to get momentum.
I talked about the fact that when you’re in a team that’s going in a downwards spiral, it’s no fun. It’s no fun for them and it’s no fun for you. It creates stress, it can get you worried about your job.
This is how I go about it. All this is built upon years and years of working with teams and getting momentum happening in them.
Where most people start is they use facilitators like me to come in and help them get clear on where they’re headed. I use a planning framework that I will work with with teams, but I also use it with individuals…
I work on a number of things… one is their core purpose or their
Mission: “Who are we?”, then I’ll work on their
Destination: “Where are we headed?”, there might be a three year timeframe on that or a five year timeframe depending on the type of organisation or the team itself. Then I’ll work on their Goal: “In 12 months, what do results look like?
Then we’ll break it down into quarters… and I’ll help them find the specific things they need to do to achieve a goal in 12 months time and get the results changing. Now that in itself can create momentum, but here’s the thing I’ve found out: What happens is that when I do this with an organisation for about three to six months they’re going like THIS (traces jagged lines in all directions) all over the place and there is no clear momentum going forward so it’s almost counterproductive.
Have you ever found that when you’ve had someone come in and do that for you?
What I’ve done is try to change that, and do something different.
So what I do now is come in, and really simply say “With you as a team, let’s get alignment around: What are the top three issues we need to fix in the next quarter that are more than likely to get you results (this could be in numbers or in impact) in the quarter ahead?” JUST in the quarter ahead. As a team we need to get alignment around what those are. Before we do any of this big stuff, that’s what I would do with your team. Just get alignment around what those three issues are, and get them working on them now. Don’t wait for the big picture, work on them now.
Then as you get that momentum going then the big picture stuff becomes more realistic, achievable and important to sustaining long term momentum.
To summarise! So many people when they want to get teams going will start with the big stuff… Mission, Destination, Goals, Quarters and all that stuff, and YES I do that, but what I’ve seen is that it makes people almost stop and question what they’re doing and they don’t get the momentum. What I recommend doing is just sit with your team and work out what are the three issues or the three problems that we need to fix right now and get working on those in the first quarter. Then ultimately what you can move towards is this long term plan that sustains momentum in the long term.
If you’re running a team or you’re part of an executive team I hope that has been helpful and you can implement this to create momentum in your team. Talk to you next time, cheers.