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People - Getting Started

Our Ultimate Goal

Recall from our sessions on Setting Priorities and Making Decisions, that the mental model we adopted to help us was to imagine "Our Worst Nightmare Competitor". We took some time to list all the things that they did well and all the things about them that we should aspire to be. In all the instances where their competitive advantage was reported to lie, whether in their world-class business processes supported by cutting-edge technology, or in their preferential treatment by the regulator, and even their vibrant and trusted brand, we drew the same conclusion. This nightmare competitor could be described as being that business where "They have the Right people, doing the Right things, the Right way, for the Right reasons with everyone in the business fully engaged and aware of their contribution."

We all acknowledge that People are critically important and the foundation upon which everything else is built. This allows us to perform our first introspection.

Our Key Question

There are various groups of people in your business that you need to ask the following forthright questions about:

  • Are you happy with their engagement with the business? By which we mean, do you appreciate them being associated with your business? All things being equal if you had a chance to replace them, whether Shareholder, Partner, Employee, Supplier or Customer, would you? How do they feel about you? Are there ever occasions when you might avoid them, not answer their call or complain discretely at home? Do you get up with enthusiasm and enjoy going to work?
  • Be careful to not ignore your own contribution to any conflict. It is not unheard of enthusiastic, engaged and talented employees being challenging or unconventional. You could very well be the subject of manipulation, you wouldn't be the first!

Mirror-mirror-on-the-Wall (This section must be customized for each business - they are all so different)

You will conduct a self-appraisal (construct with client to gauge what they think, then fix gaps) and then receive the results of various anonymous 360 feedbacks.

Insert Emotional Intelligence test and coaching questions here. - Critical Conversations etc

  • Can you trust someone in the business with your most important and strategically significant duties if you know that they cannot be trusted with those things outside of the business which are important to them?
  • The business requires consistent leadership over the next few years, can everyone be relied upon to commit to the journey?
  • When last did you cry? (pop this little surprise in to test for openness!)
  • When last did you do something for the very first time? Something we'll be pleased you shared! Something that casts you in a pleasing light?
  • Are your children proud of you?
  • etc, etc

Orientation - How do people join your business, feel at home quickly and get a sense of your leadership?

As an exercise just in your own mind, what fundamental truths do you need people to know about you and your business. How are you to communicate these. Here's an example. I bet you they are a great business!

This needs to digest in each person's mind, so we refocus now on the business functions required to run the business, and will continue with this topic in the Personal Development section.