June 15, 2017

Your Business is a Road Trip – Step on the Gas

Use your rearview mirror to help your organization move foward faster.If you’ve read the first two posts in this series (Who Do You Want in Your Van? and Get People in the Right Seats), you know that we’re on a metaphoric business road trip, that you don’t want to travel with just anyone and also that where each person sits is critically important. With all that in your mind, it’s time to do one thing:

Step on the gas! Read full article

May 9, 2017

Your Business is a Road Trip – Get People in the Right Seats

Is everyone on your team in the right seat?In the previous post, I introduced the metaphor of your business as a road trip and asked you to consider who you want in your van – and your action for last month was to asses the people on your team and make tough decisions about whether or not you have room for everyone.

If there are people on your team who are impediments to your goals, your culture, your reputation and/or your commitment to your mission and customers, there’s no reason to hold a seat for them.

But your assessment doesn’t stop there. Next, you need to make sure that everyone you do want on your team is in the right seat.

For example:

  • Your best driver should not be sandwiched in the middle seat.
  • The person with the best sense of direction should probably be riding shotgun, not stuck in the way back with headphones on.
  • Those who are great at keeping things moving should not have to climb over the masses to lend a hand.

Get the picture?

Whether or not you succeed in getting everyone in the right seat is tied to how well you understand your destination (i.e. where you’re driving to). So, use your organization’s strategy and goals as the guide to help you evaluate and align each of your team members with their ideal position.

ACTION FOR THE MONTH

Review your strategy with a critical eye to the skills, capabilities and leadership attributes you need on your team to be successful.

If your strategy for the next 18 months includes a product launch, new service, fund raise or strategic partnership, look at your team to ensure that you have people who can accomplish those goals.

You may also need to look at existing work teams, make some key hires or even create work groups that bring the necessary skills and styles together.

This type of evaluation is two-fold – you need to examine:

  1. The technical, hard skills component; and also,
  2. The behavioral component (how people manage work situations and their managerial styles).

This means you’ll need to create two lists – hard skills needed to be successful and behavioral qualities required.

With your lists in hand, undertake a thorough assessment of your team to understand where you have gaps and strengths, and finally take the appropriate actions to bridge or leverage them.

April 5, 2017

Your Business is a Road Trip – Who Do You Want in Your Van?

Business is a road trip - who's on board your bus?Every April, I do a 200-mile relay race with 11 other people.

It’s a logistical challenge: run from Gettysburg to Washington, DC; 30 hours of continuous running; two vans with sweaty runners; lots of winding roads and bad convenience store food.

It’s great fun and exhausting at the same time.

At 3 a.m. (when I’m running in the dark somewhere in rural Maryland) I always ask myself, “Why am I doing this again?” Read full article