Life’s Up’s And Down’s
July 26, 2011
More With Less
August 24, 2011
Life’s Up’s And Down’s
July 26, 2011
More With Less
August 24, 2011
Show all


“They are a good team Bill but geez, I know they can be better.”

This was the core of a very interesting conversation I had recently with the leader of a service delivery team.

It wasn’t a statement from someone that just wanted better performance from a team, that was already meeting all of their performance criteria, and It wasn’t a statement from someone that was trying to get blood out of stone.

It was an evaluation from a leader that could see great things from a group of people.

However, at the same time, he also understood that there were opportunities for them to be better.

The Problem?

The only reference point the team had were themselves.

The Solution?

Get the team to start looking at examples outside the environment in which they operated.


Now as I said, this is a team that delivers in each and every area that they are involved with. In anyone’s estimation and evaluation they would be classified as a good team.

But, as you have read from me before … Good is fine as long as better isn’t available.

For this team better was available. The problem was they didn’t know that because all they had to compare themselves with was themselves.

So our game plan was simple. We started to look outside of their current sphere of influence. We started to discuss and understand different examples from outside their industry. Examples that although were far removed from them and what they do were still very relevant, if they would take the time to understand.

Basically we started to look for reference points outside of this team.

Our first port of call was to identify the areas and approaches that the team believed made them good. The second was to identify the areas that the team believed they needed to improve upon. This information was ascertained through good old fashioned open and honest dialogue and statistical analysis.


Next it was finding, evaluating and understanding examples, cases studies, and insights from other sources, teams and organisations that could be used to help this team understand an increased level of pursuit and achievement.

Initially it was a stretch for some to come to terms with how the plan of attack of other teams and organisations could be used and utilised by them. Some thought because it was a different industry, outcome or approach, the lessons or insights were not relevant to them and what they were trying to achieve.

N.B. This exercise wasn’t about me getting them to compare themselves with others. The reality was if I did that, I would have lost them in about 2 seconds flat and would have looked like an absolute idiot.

What I was trying to do was highlight the fact that everyday we can learn from different people, situations and examples, and that although they may not be the same as us, this doesn’t mean we can’t learn from their experiences.

Now, once people got over their pre conceived idea that different did not mean no place for learning, we started to make headway.

That headway came about as we removed the specificity of the example and looked at the general qualities that made it work. We then looked at how that could be applied to this team, their situation and what it was they were trying to achieve.

People had realised that yes they were good… But at the same time they also began to understand that they could be better. In some areas this improvement would be in small increments, where as in other areas significant leaps of advancement were soon highlighted.


The more the team realised that they could be better the sooner they started to become better.

The lesson is simple… don’t put limitations upon yourself. Look outside and understand we can learn to be better everyday, if we have a willingness to do so.

As as you do …

The Journey Continues!

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