Are you focusing your team on what matters?

Before any competitive game, the players have clarity of what success means: win the match. Throughout the game, the scoreboard provides a real-time reminder

Before any competitive game, the players have clarity of what success means: win the match. Throughout the game, the scoreboard provides a real-time reminder of who is winning or losing.

The mark is clear.

Not machinery. Not money. Not any other kind of capabilities, the difference between great companies and average ones is people working as a team and not as an individual in a group.

When one of the prospects in Nairobi Kenya wanted to undertake a staff rationalization exercise and approached us, we did not just send a proposal. We asked for a meeting to understand the context. At the meeting with the prospect, asked why to conduct a staff rationalization exercise? During the conversation, we noted that the company plans to first streamline the staffing issues and thereafter review and update its corporate strategy.

We advised the client that the staff rationalization exercise should come after strategy review and not the other way round.

Our insights were clear:

  1. Why spend money in undertaking staff rationalization, when you do not yet know what your new strategy and growth priorities are?
  2. All new projects and initiatives to create team cohesion, alignment, and structure review should be informed by the strategy and not the other way round.
  3. And most important – Moses went to the mountain. The mountain did not go to Moses. In business-speak, the strategy is a ‘mountain’, and “Moses” is the organizational structure or new capabilities required. You cannot first make a structure or acquire capabilities and then define a strategy and force the new strategy to fit into it.

Once the strategy has been defined, a scorecard with specific performance areas or objectives or targets to be achieved can then be defined, and respective staff assigned responsibility for it.

It is through such a process that the culture of team cohesion is attained – a group of people working towards a specific objective. The scorecard provides a mark or target which team members must aim at.

The strategy helps you define what matters. The scorecard provides guiding posts to show the team whether they are on the right track and if not to make changes to win.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2021. All rights reserved.

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