What do you think of when you hear the word “investing?” Most probably would consider strictly money. What if you and your team looked at everything as an investment? The reality is, everything is. Remember, if you’re an individual or an entrepreneur reading this, you also have a team; even if your team is only you at this point. And successful teams are the result of successful people!
A simplified version of investing can be described as dedicating something to a particular area expecting a return; consciously or unconsciously. In other words, the impact is the same even if you may be unaware or never connect the dots to where you put your attention in any fashion (time, money, or effort), to the results you experience.
Recently, in conjunction with a client of mine, at his industry specific conference, we conducted a breakout session on “How Focused Teambuilding Can Make Your Agency High Performing.” We defined teambuilding as training with a purpose, which is more than a gripe session or a meeting discussing problems. In addition, focused teambuilding is much more than social activities of company sponsored lunches or connecting outside of work for bowling or other activity.
Focused teambuilding incorporates designated exercises and facilitation from an expert to raise awareness and correlate daily activities to improve performance and productivity. A participant raised the question many have, as to the practicality of the investment of non-industry specific training. The real question is how much time, money and productivity are interpersonal issues and people without solid life skills costing?
Think about your day-to-day operation. Are the issues you face about the technical aspects of your field or what arises based on the fact that as humans, stuff naturally occurs? Usually it is the latter, with common problems such as communication, trust, and accountability.
Some typical misconceptions that costs your team time, money, and energy:
Accepting these challenges as “the way things are”
Expecting people to know how to handle situations and behave (Really, have we all had the same experiences and training?!)
Ignoring the issues or pretending they are non-existent
The absence of training, conducting all from within, or only attending cookie-cutter formats versus customized programs to address specific needs
Why is the last bullet point costly? A damaging practice is when a business attempts to be an expert in all phases of the operation. Consider how effective you would be to have a mechanic in an accountant’s position – or any other misaligned expertise and position. Also, cookie-cutter formats initially seem preferred based on a lower price point. What is the real expense? Usually a sense of incomplete or question how to apply to your own situation, or worse, leaving you with a jaded perception of the unlimited value of adopting the successful philosophy that teambuilding truly is a process, NOT an event.
High-performing (Jan – PLEASE CREATE “high-performing” as a link to Home page AND REMOVE THIS NOTE) organizations on the other hand naturally integrate training from outside sources. Obviously, assets are an important component of the bottom line in business and in life. Imagine instead, creating success by developing the human capital component of the organization with solid life skills.
Consider a vehicle as analogous to your people. The vehicle gets you from point A to point B. However, without regular care, aka, your investment – gas, oil, and other periodic maintenance – the vehicle is undependable or may exhibit sporadic performance. Or if you always use the cheapest materials you end up paying a lot more in the long run. Teams obviously are comprised of people who also need consistent attention, in the form of development and polish to excel on an optimum level.
Where do you go from here?
Calculate how much the people issues are costing; both current and projected revenue and productivity
Determine the impact of procrastinating properly addressing the issues
Consciously choose the culture desired
Decide for you and your team to be high-performing
Take action to support your decision
How will you apply this to you or your team?
Share your thoughts