If you find that the members
of your team have problems generating solid ideas, offer them the Million Dollar
Jackpot for their thoughts. Before your next brainstorming session or meeting,
go buy ten lottery tickets. Explain that you are "offering at least a million
dollars for your team's ideas". Then when a good idea is presented, give out
one ticket for the effort. Be sure to use a flip chart, grease board, overhead
projector or PowerPoint software program to write down the ideas.
In order to constantly take
your business to the next level it is important to understand that a group is
just an organization of people; a team is a cohesive unit that knows exactly
what constitutes a win. Your team members need to know at all times how close
they are to a win and/or what needs to take place for it to happen.
Therefore, you need to have
a "scoreboard" that is in clear view. Develop some kind of a system that can
let your team know where they stand. It is amazing that in some businesses,
employees will work for weeks, months or even years without knowing if they
have been winning or losing. It is hard to expect your team to "win one for
the Gipper" when they have no idea what "one" is. Some businesses put up "win"
"Ninety-four days since
our last accident."
"2,000 orders filled correctly
and still climbing!"
"4,000 miles driven
safely and increasing by the minute!"
"Over 15,000 customers
While these are scores,
your "win" scoreboard could be your profit vs. loss statement or your productivity
chart vs. risks taken. Get the numbers out of the files and use them to motivate
"Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress; and working together is success." Henry Ford
Yet when you are trying
to spur action, understand that people will do things for their reasons, not
yours. If you attempt to push, prod and poke at them, they will not be productive
or positive. Give team members incentive and explain to them how moving in the
direction you ask will benefit them. This way the team stays unified but each
person knows "what's in it for him or her".
With company loyalty at
an all time low, it is more important than ever for people to know why doing
a certain thing will benefit them. The truth is that they don't care why something
is important to you or your business. Yet, if you can talk in terms of their
interests and let them know what benefits they can receive from helping you,
they will be more inclined to listen instead of "tuning you out".
We live in an increasingly
insular society when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Appealing to a
person's own wants and needs instead of your own is much more effective than
autocratic leadership. Another important aspect of getting team members to move
forward is learning to ASK instead of DICTATE. It is too easy in today's world
for people to say "no way" and just leave.
Let people know that you
will not expect them to do anything that you yourself would not do. It's difficult
to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try.