Challenge Your Thinking

The Bottom Line To Peak Performance Vol 7, Issue 39 May10

Creating Winning Teams

Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture in which people are encouraged to challenge, to question, to try, and to innovate. Surround yourself with and create teams of the best people the organization has to offer. Don't limit yourself by focusing only on people with seniority or rank. Bring people into a team as they are needed based upon their expertise or abilities.

The ideal team will include the four types of thinkers so you get a blend of perspectives. For example, some team members will naturally focus on short-term efficiency issues (doing things right) while others will focus on short-term effectiveness (doing the right things). Additional team members should be selected for their natural inclination to focus on long-term efficiency, while others should be selected for their natural focus on long-term effectiveness. This will go a long way toward preventing "group think" from taking over and delivering a product that is fundamentally flawed.

Create a culture where people are encouraged to be their best and perform their best.

As the goals or projects dictate, you may want to involve multiple constituents in different aspects of the project as needed. Furthermore, it may not always be necessary to involve everyone from the beginning to end. Always be sure however, that the goals and objectives are specific and that they are aligned with the vision, values, and strategies of the organization as defined by the strategic plan.

~ Adapted with permission from the Resource Associates Corporation Executive by Sorrell Associates, LLC

Using Job Benchmarking To Avoid Unnecessary Costs

Most companies could do a lot better when it comes to hiring employees that can make the company better. Too often, somebody leaves a role for another position and the human resources department is told that they need to hire somebody else. At that point, they start sorting through a number of resumes to try and find somebody to fill the position.

There are a number of problems with this process. First of all, the people that are going through the resumes probably don't know that much about the position. For all they know, they might be weeding out some of the best possible candidates and sending the wrong people on to the interview process.
Even for the hiring manager, assessing candidates is not their primary job function. It's probably something that they do every once in a while and they are likely doing it at a time when they find themselves short-staffed. They have other things on their mind, and they can be biased by the fact that they want to fill the role quickly and get on with other things.

If they talk to somebody for an hour and the person suitably answers the interview questions they may end up getting the job. That person might have the best work ethic and might be very personable. They might also be completely mismatched to the job and find that they soon get frustrated when they're trying to meet expectations that they don't even understand.

If a company were to use job benchmarking to first identify the accountabilities of a position, it's going to pay huge dividends in the long run.

Hiring companies need to look at the bigger picture and identify exactly what a particular job function needs to do. They need to identify how that fits into the workings of the entire company.
Once a list of the key accountabilities has been produced, the company can go about finding individuals that can fulfill those accountabilities. It means that the person they hire is more likely to have success in that role because they match the role better. It's not enough to be able to impress somebody in an interview. They need to have inherent behaviors that will predict success for them specifically for their job function.

It might seem apparent that you need to hire better people in order to have a better company. Many companies don't realize how much of an impact those hiring decisions make in the long run. Employees that either don't understand or are not fully capable of filling the requirements of their position tax every part of a company.

They will take longer to train, and they will be less effective once they are trained. A human resources department that has to constantly be going through the process of hiring new people because an employee was frustrated with their position can cost a staggering amount.

Not only will the poorly chosen employees create the need for more employees, they will frustrate the ones around them. Managers will leave because they can't get the job done and other employees will feel the pressure from having to try and fulfill their own roles and somebody else's. Start with job benchmarking and stop these profit robbing hiring decisions from affecting your company.


I would like to take this time to Thank You for everything you’ve done for me. Without your objective analysis, coaching and contact referrals, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to follow the path I ended up following.

T. Reilly,
Project Manager

Executive Coaching & Consulting - Boston, MA

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