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It All begins with the Leader. Part 2

How long would you sit in an arena to watch a sporting event if there were no scoreboard or time clock? 10 minutes? 4 hours? Never even go?

What would it be like if you were on the team playing the game?

This is a silly question because knowing the score and how much time remains is essential to knowing how well the team is performing, stepping up effort, rallying the team, when to leave, and much more. Welcome to Part 2 of my 3 Part blog which is setting the stage for my remaining Middleship™ blog posts. In this blog post, I’ll cover BULLET POINT 2…

Are you winning?

In my training workshops, I explain that the materials I am presenting are intended to help employees function more effectively as a team. Then, in a firm and deliberate tone of voice, I’ll say, if you’re not trying to function as a high-performing team, then I’m in the wrong place. This raises another question. What is the alternative to working and functioning together as a team? The answer would be a workplace of sole proprietors.

An organization full of sole proprietors can easily lead to problems like silos, walls between employees, and other self-defeating behaviors. Interestingly, however, the informed sole proprietors (think entrepreneurs) know they need good “team members” like family, accountant, suppliers, and others to help them be a success. My point? If your intent is not to function as a team stop reading now. My blogs are not for you.

The participants in my workshops will confirm that the reason for attending my workshops is so that they can be and influence others to be a winning team.

So, what do teams need to know to gauge whether they are winning? Answers include the score, the location of the goal, and how much time remains on the clock.

Before studying and implementing Middleship™ methods leaders must buy-in to the idea that workplace teams need to know whether they are winning. To do this, employees need to know the score.
How can you establish an organizational scoreboard?

The good news is that many elements of organizational scoreboards or dashboards are already in place in most workplaces. The elements need only be assembled in a meaningful way. This includes “hardwiring” the score to the overarching goals (strategy) of the organization. But even more important is to ensure visibility of the scoreboard to the workforce. Like a professional sports team, it would be stupid to hide the scoreboard from the team and the same holds true in high performing organizations. This is true whether the team is winning or losing. Leaders of these organizations make it their business to continually ensure their teams know whether they are winning.

What aspects of organizational performance make a scoreboard?

Data that can be hardwired into a scoreboard might include:

  • Employee engagement survey results
  • Customer satisfaction scores such as effectiveness, on-time delivery, etc.
  • Bottom-line financial performance values
  • Process productivity values such as efficiency, cycle time, waste, etc.
  • Quality of services and/or products.

I provide more information on how to set goals via strategic plan summary and building a dashboard of performance indicators in future blog posts. For now, you, the leader, need only accept the idea that teams need to know the score and your role as a leader include ensuring the team is aware of it. This will enable an immediate and sustained ability to answer the question, are you winning?

What are some of the ways you’ve seen organizations use scoreboards or dashboards to help employees know whether they are winning?

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