Source of Team Management Challenges
I’m SO excited that you’re called to find out more about confidently delegating to your team and having them be more productive WHILE freeing up your time.
- Knowing that your team is doing the right thing, in the right way, every time...
- Hearing the delight in your customer’s voices when they enthuse about how well your team supported them...
- Seeing the number of issues you have to deal with plummet, because everything now just works...
- Feeling the relief when you consistently get to work on the bigger picture things that drive you, instead of being constantly pulled into the weeds…
- Sleeping well because your revenue keeps growing. No more clients falling through the cracks. Instead, they're being supported by the team, and they keep coming back...
That’s what happens when you build your business by design, not by default.
Your structures support your business.
When your structures do the heavy lifting, you and your team don’t have to.
A couple of years ago, an amazing Leader came to ask my help. He had a big vision to grow his business 5x over the next 5 years…
…and he knew he couldn’t get there with the way it was currently operating.
- Most of our calls were after hours, as that was the only free time he had.
- During working hours, he was constantly being interrupted with client or team questions.
- There was never enough time in the day for him to do all that he wanted to do.
The first thing we did was take a look under the hood at how the business was operating.
Here’s the thing – we didn’t look at just one aspect.
You see, all businesses are a combination of 3 things
People are your team members, with their skills and experience.
Process is how your team use the tools to deliver the outcomes for the business.
Tools include physical tools like forklifts, computers etc, as well as software and the information contained in them. Information is one of the most powerful tools you have.
And they all interact. You can’t look at tools without knowing who is using them, what they’re using them for, and how they’re using them. And it's the same with people and process.
How the 3 of them work together determines how successful the business is.
(And how hard the CEO has to work…)
But the challenge is understanding how those things work together, and what you can do to improve them.
Because how can you really see what's going on behind the scenes in a business? It's not like a car engine that you can see how everything is connected, and work out what's going wrong?
Well, actually... there is a way to make all the invisible stuff that goes on in a business visible. It's just that most people haven't come across it before.
Think of how having x-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds have transformed how we manage our physical health. Now we can actually see what's going on inside someone, without hurting them.
We can do similar things with businesses...
Yes, we CAN make all the invisible things - workflows, gaps, duplications, workarounds, uncertainties - visible. So we can see what's going on. And when we're all seeing the same things, we can improve things. Everyone has the same picture, not everyone with their own individual mental models of how things work...
That’s what we did with this Leader’s business.
We looked inside, to see what was REALLY going on.
3 Things You Can Do Immediately to Reduce Team Management Challenges
The first 3 things we did together are the 3 things that you can do right now.
Draw a box on the page.
Write in it
- the task – what it is that needs to be done
- the team member who is responsible for doing it
This is often what people think of when they delegate a task to someone. There’s a job to be done, and they ask someone to do it.
And often this is not enough to get the job done how you want it to.
Not because the team member is incompetent. And not because you’re bad at delegating.
Mostly because we look at the task as a complete thing, a single box…
… and we don’t consider everything around it.For really effective delegation and team empowerment, we literally need to look outside the box.
1. Identify the Triggers
Triggers are the things that come before the task, that cause the need for the task to happen. They are the prompt that sets this task off.
Triggers can be
- time based or
- event based.
Time-based triggers are things like every Wed afternoon, or the 2nd Mon of the quarter. They specify a time and frequency that something needs to happen.
Event-based triggers are driven by something other than time. For example, when a customer order comes in, you need to do something. If an order doesn’t come in, you don’t have to do the thing. It's important for event-based triggers that you have a mechanism in place so that the person taking the next action is notified that there's a task for them to do.
Often we don’t identify all the triggers for a task, which means the task doesn’t always get done when it needs to.
All sorts of fires result from not identifying all the triggers. The most common things you'll hear from your team in these situations are
- "I didn’t know I needed to do that"
- "No one told me"
- "I did it (in this instance) and didn’t know I needed to do it (in that instance)"
- "Who is supposed to be doing this?"
When you identify all the triggers, and make sure that the person doing the task knows they need to do it whenever those triggers occur, you cut out a heck of a lot of fire-fighting.
2. Identify the Inputs
So, we’ve got the triggers – we know when we’re supposed to do something. We know what the task is.
The inputs are everything that we need for us to do the task in this particular situation.
- The skills of the team member doing it
- The tools they need to use
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for how to do it consistently, and how your business does it vs another business
- Any reviews for someone to provide guidance along the way, rather than at the end
- Decision points that the team member can make vs those that need to be made by you or someone else
- And most importantly, the information that the team member needs to use to complete the task.
Having all the inputs defined, and quickly and easily accessible by the team member doing the task, fixes these 2 main types of fires.
1. Things take longer to complete because the person doing it
- is waiting for supplies/information from someone else
- doesn’t have access or can’t use the tools needed
- doesn’t have the skills/experience/training/support needed to do it to the level expected
2. Things aren’t done correctly, or consistently, because the person doing it
- didn’t have the right information. They may be acting on out of date information, where all systems have not been updated
- didn’t have enough information. Much of the time we keep a lot of information in our heads, without realising that others don’t know what we know.
When you get clear on the inputs, and have them readily available and up to date, it’s amazing how calmly the work flows.
3. Identify the Outputs and Outcomes
Often when we delegate a task, we’ll specify the output that we want. The thing that the team member will deliver.
Now, outputs are good and important and need to stay.
But they’re not the end of the task.
Outputs from one task are likely to need to go to someone else for them to do something with it. They are not an end in themselves. Outputs often become a trigger for someone else to do something.So when we’re looking at a task, we not only need to think about what comes before it (triggers and inputs), we also need to think about what comes after it. Because the task that comes after it may need something that the current output doesn’t provide…
If we update the output, we solve the next problem.
The second thing with outputs is often they’re not what we really want. They’re generally a means to an end.
What we REALLY want is the outcome.
An outcome can be made up of a single or multiple outputs.
The outcome is the bigger WHY we are doing something. And as Simon Sinek says “start with why”. When people know the outcome they are contributing to, and how their work supports that, it goes a long way towards empowering them in the work they do.
Over to you...
With these 3 things – triggers, inputs and outputs/outcomes – you can go a long way towards delegating effectively and empowering your team to take on more responsibilities.
Without feeling overwhelmed with managing all the tasks and decisions yourself.Even if you've struggled with letting go and giving up control.
Of course, if you want to take this further…
Supercharge Your Team Management…
All of the triggers, inputs, tasks and outputs can be combined together to give you the FULL picture of how your business actually works. (Like an x-ray for your business.)
Most of the time businesses have an organisation chart, and that’s about it.
Org charts tell you who reports to whom.
They don’t tell you how the work actually happens.
For the Leader I mentioned earlier, we built a process map for his business.Suddenly, he could see exactly what was going on – who was doing what, when and how.
(This process map has been made generic, and taken up a couple of levels, so the business is not identifiable. It also only covers a very small step in his business. The real maps that I develop for my clients have significantly more detail.)
Importantly, he (and his team) could see the linkages between the tasks, going from person to person.
THESE were the things that were the real causes of his overwork – the triggers, inputs and outputs.
Much of the time, those linkages didn’t exist, weren’t explicit, or required someone to consciously remember to notify the next person. They relied on good luck, rather than good management (even though he is an awesome manager).
Which explained why he and his team were constantly reacting, fighting fires.
Can you see how having all these underlying structures completely visible and exposed allows you to address all the niggles that take up SO much time to resolve?
Plus makes things easily consistent and effortlessly scalable?
In fact, the Leader’s comments after we finished working together were
Would you like some help doing that for YOUR business?
Because this is what we do in the Effortless Empowerment Accelerator. Together, we identify and improve all the underlying structures so that the work flows easily and effortlessly.
Freeing up 20 hours a week of your time.
And allowing you to focus on the things that only YOU can do in your business.
And no matter your CEO Style, you can
- see the big picture without drowning in the detail
- see the detail, without losing sight of where it fits in with the bigger picture
- get all your team on the same page, removing any misunderstandings about when, how and why things need to happen
- easily bring on new staff
- anticipate the flow-on effects of any changes
- feel much more comfortable delegating
- retain control of the whole process.
If you’re interested in finding out more, or you're even a bit curious, join a short training session where we walk through how we can address all these steps.
I look forward to seeing you on the next training.