How to make team decisions that don't suck?

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“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

Ed Catmull


Whether you are scaling your business, stepping into a leadership role, or have acquired a business, one of the biggest challenges is getting your team aligned and performing. Here are some of the ways we help our clients lead their business from the inside out.

1. Clarify your promise

Being able to clearly communicate who you are, what you believe in, and why others should follow you, is the essence of your brand. Although some refer to brand as the visual identity of a business, great brands communicate a cohesive promise across all touchpoints, both internal and external.

Effective promises are often short, but don’t mix up clarity for simplicity. And it’s important to point out that promise is not a financial goal, but a cause that is bigger than any individual or quarterly report. It is not prescriptive but distills a set of values and ambitions to help individuals take ownership and align their skills to realize a vision.

2. Get your team to buy into your promise

Leadership starts with clarity. In our work in mergers and acquisitions, we have often seen challenges to retaining talent in a new culture. When leaders fail to provide clarity in transitions, a team will find ways to fill the void, whether or not it is aligned with your brand or business direction. This can lead to a trail of frustration and missed opportunity.

Sit down with your team, old or new, and involve them in steering the transition. We run workshops for companies in transition to find common ground and bridge the gap between visionaries and “boots on the ground”.

Our Brand Value Design Workshop

Our Brand Value Design Workshop


3. Design habits to reinforce your promise

To deliver on your brand’s promise, your team needs to be able to make every decision, big and small, cohesively, day in day out.

Create space to debate, challenge, and encourage each other - this allows for an ongoing discussion and continuous feedback that speeds adoption of best practices and sharing of information that will help you accomplish your vision and deliver on your brand promise.

We are NOT encouraging an excess of meetings, but rather creating intentional breaks to check in on how far along or how far off is the team from the vision and promise. A five or ten minute stand up meeting is frequently all it takes to keep your team on track and motivated.

4. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat

Borrow a best practice of marketing and advertising campaigns - clarify a message and then repeat, repeat, repeat. As brilliant as your promise and plan may be, it will take time for your team and organization to internalize it. Be a broken record, repeat your promise, remind your team of the vision, and encourage them to adopt the new language.

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Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford

Take Away

Remember a brand is a promise you intend to keep to your customers, but more importantly, to yourself and those within the organization.

Think you need to evolve your brand? Contact us to schedule a free 30 minute Review.

Tino Chow