Will Your Team Get You to Your Full Potential? Not if They are Not in Alignment.

Posted on 07/12/13 No Comments

I recently completed the implementation of the Critical Factors Management System into a $4.5 million manufacturing company that had been operating at a loss for the past six months.

As is often the case, I cannot mention the name of the client but they are typical of many small businesses that are run by intelligent, passionate and capable entrepreneurs who have all of the industry knowledge and relationships, along with a brilliant product or service, that you would think are critical to business success.  Yet, they are struggling or failing to reach their full potential. WHY?

I knew the answer to the first question I asked my client before I even asked it – how could a company that was profitable two years ago with only $2.2 million in sales be losing money now that they were operating at $4.5 million?!  The reason for the question was simply to see if he realized that the answer was simply this – there is a big difference between knowing how to DO something and knowing how to run a company that does what you do.  Thankfully he did. And thus, I could help him because his job is to hold the vision and have the know-how and industry relationships. My job is to execute his vision through his team.

Two years ago my client pretty much did everything himself.  He had worked night and day for years to learn as much about his industry as possible and develop the relationships critical to his success.  And then, two years ago, as he started to grow, he started hiring people to do a good deal of the work that he had been doing. At first it was easy to manage his workforce – even though he did not recognize he was micro-managing them.

This is typical.  As more people are added, it becomes more and more challenging to ensure that they are all operating efficiently.  And, if you are micro-managing, in essence all you are doing is increasing your workload because you can’t be everywhere at once and watching everything everyone does.

This client is going to do fine.  Why?  Here’s how a few members of the team reacted to an 8 hour Critical Factors Customization and Implementation meeting:

What Part of the Meeting Did You Find Most Beneficial?

  • The breakdown of all strengths, weaknesses, successes, learnings and threats.  The absolute necessity of a mission statement and core values
  • The fact that we were able to identify the breakdown in communication from top to bottom
  • Articulating our deficiencies and setting a plan to overcome them
  • Original thought was not wanting to be here due to so much on my desk to be done. Being here has made me learn to stop thinking about what I need to do instead of jumping in and working as a team

How will you be able to apply what you have learned today?

  • By identifying “What’s the Goal” each day
  • The system is an excellent way to get our company and me in order and address our challenges in an effective way
  • This will allow all of us to have a common goal and way of taking on initiatives
  • By defining my goals and responsibilities and execute on them
  • Clear goals
  • We will now be on the ‘same page’ from the company’s standpoint and start to become a better company

My client now has an aligned team.  Among the Critical Factors we are focusing upon is cash flow.  Each member of the team knows how they can contribute. They have a clear definition of success for their company. They are motivated and working as a team with a unified goal. As a team, they will WIN!

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