This is the sixth installment in our High-Impact Team Series. If you would like to read all installments of the series, click here.
In a high-growth environment, it’s easy to get so caught up in the frenzy that you skip time to catch up with one another, as a team.
Think about how a relay team plans for a win: They practice running with the baton without dropping it (really!) — a disqualifying event. They plan on who runs first, second, third, and fourth specifically focusing on each team member’s strength. They practice intervals to improve their speed, plyometrics to improve power, and specialized techniques to secure a smooth baton handoff. They’ve got a common goal, but they can only accomplish it together, taking their time to plan positions and strategies to deliver their best results.
That’s what a high-impact professional services team should look like. As we covered in a previous blog post, Quadrant ii at Least Once a Week, thoughtful planning and brainstorming are like exercise, prayer, meditation, and compound interest: it's the persistence that delivers the results.
Carving out Quadrant ii time is essential for you, but it is just as important to carve it out for the team. And with a thoughtful structure, it need not be a marathon meeting. Enter, the "RPM CHAT" session — a weekly, 30-minute status update to “rev” up your team for the week. You’ll face issues together, celebrate wins, uncover problems, brainstorm solutions, and strategize for the week ahead. Here's the agenda:
1. Review last week’s priorities. Each project is updated by its owner.
2. Discuss problems that need to be fixed. Because everyone feels safe, mistakes are openly discussed and embraced for team learning. The focus is on solutions, not finding who or what to blame.
3. Explore modifications or something that's missing. Everyone contributes suggestions to improve a process or develop a new approach to team handoffs, quality service, or operational efficiency.
4. Client meetings often yield a new issue to deal with, either generalized or specific to the client. Reflect: What did we learn last week, what needs to happen, and who is following up with the client?
5. Help someone on the team. If a team member is challenged by a particularly difficult project, the team should brainstorm a way to overcome it.
6. Acknowledge a team member for going the extra mile or for doing something extraordinary.
7. Review top priorities for next week. Determine what gets on the priority list for next week and who owns it.
With very few exceptions, nothing gets tabled. With several heads focused on an issue, you find a way to implement simply and quickly. In Scrum, an agile framework originally designed for software engineers, product design development is done in an iterative manner. Small amounts of work are done frequently and delivered to the client right away to get feedback as soon as possible. More frequent strategizing by multiple brains leads to better results, optimally achieved.
With this simple agenda, your team will have covered at least three of the top 12 employee engagement indicators leading to more productivity, profitability, client engagement, and employee retention.
I’d love to hear what you’ve done in your business to rev up your team. Leave your comments below.