Business Brief March 2012

Posted in Business
01/03/2012 Level One

A simple list of ideas for business success using your most important asset

12 Characteristics of a High Performance Team

So, you come into the office all fired and ready to go. But does your team share your enthusiasm?

A high performance business must have a high performance team. There are twelve outstanding characteristics that are directly related to a top performing business team.

Let’s break them down one by one.

1. Common goal

This is your purpose and your mission. It needs to inspire people. It has got to be very clear.

2. Winning culture

What is meant by a “winning culture”? This is your code of culture. People buy into values and what they represent. Culture will include excellence, enthusiasm and team work. You must eliminate those on your team who do not embrace your business’s culture. Many times your worst enemy is from within. That enemy is negativity. Having a winning culture fights against negativity.

3. Live the culture

Hypocrisy will work against you. What happens when you tell me about the winning culture but you don’t live it yourself?

4. 100% involvement from everyone

Picture the sporting match. It is Queensland vs. New South Wales State of Origin. You are playing for New South Wales. You turn up and you are about to run on. As you ready yourself to enter the grounds, you turn to the coach and say you are not going to give more than 60% today. Will coach let you play? Absolutely not! You are either on or off there is no in-between.

5. Grow and support your stars

Out in the world there is an insane business model, it must have come from socialism, and that model states that you must treat everyone on your team the same way. That is a load of baloney. If you do not look after your best, your best will leave. People who are brilliant, but who feel unloved and un-praised, will leave and the ones that you don’t want will be the ones who stay.

Everybody brings in a different value and you must reward people for their value. Reward them not in how much time they spend at work but on their value to your business.

6. Flat salaries breed flat performances

The greatest model that I’ve seen, and the one that works, is that you don’t pay people on movement, you pay them on achievement. Pay an employee a flat salary and they will only do as much as they need to do. There is no reason to go for the gold. There is nothing in it for them. They will only do enough to maintain their position.

7. Keep an incentive program simple

You need to develop an incentive program based around this simple philosophy – reward people for the things you want them to do and penalise them for the things you don’t want them to do. It is extremely important to keep your incentive programs simple. If people cannot understand it, if they cannot associate how much they will get from it, then they will not do it. Confusion and over complication is the enemy of business communication.

8. Support the people who take the risks

The risk takers – they are the ones who break the game aren’t they. Shane Warne is a risk taker. What is so brilliant about Shane Warne at cricket? He can open up the game. It’s the people who are inherent risk takers that need to be supported. But what do most organisations do? They try to destroy them. Once they make a mistake, what do they do? They berate them and say “never do that again!”. Then the leadership complain that their people are not taking any entrepreneurial risks anymore. Yes, correct people when they make a mistake, but do not destroy their self worth in the process.

9. Train your team in all areas

Sounds good, but then businesses say “what happens if after I train them they leave?” That is not a good question.

The good question is: “What happens if you don’t train them and they stay?”

Training is a matter of show and tell, of dogged determined role playing until we get it right. Don’t just hand them a manual and leave. They haven’t understood anything. They need to practise before they perform.

10. Give people clear job descriptions, roles and duties

In many organisations, people are trying to do their best,

but no one has told them what their best is. Business owners say “I hope Mary never leaves. She is a winner on our team.” But then you do not even know what Mary does. Be absolutely clear when you employ people. How can you measure performance if you cannot test it? It is the whole principle of testing and measuring that needs to be a permanent principle in any business.

11. Hire on attitude not on skill

The key to building a championship team is to hire people

that already have passion and heart, not just a good resume.

I hire on attitude and try not to hire on skill. What I am looking for is not your mind, but rather does your values and mind fall within the culture and values of this company?

If I can align your attitude with our culture, we will have an amazingly profitable marriage.

12. To attract the best, you must be attractive

In any business, in order to attract the best, you actually have to become attractive. Your attraction is not based on your size but your vision and your purpose. When you become attractive, you attract those people. It is a principle of life as well as a principle of business.

So, now you know the secret characteristics necessary to build a high performance team. Apply each of these suggestions, and watch your business go to new heights!

The material above was produced by Tony Gattari who built Harvey Norman’s computer business from $12 million to $565 million in 9 years.

[ Quote ] “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  NELSON MANDELA


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