419.296.1664 info@cf-pm.com
The Art of Team Spirit

The Art of Team Spirit

The best manager I ever had. . .

  • …created a team that could accomplish anything.
  • …led our team by setting an exceptional example.
  • …celebrated our individuality and coached our strengths.

All of these statements have one thing in common: Team. Great managers create an inclusive and productive work culture for their teams.

To create winning team spirit, we recommend managers use the following weekly, monthly and quarterly activities:

  1. Team Touchbases, weekly. These short (15-30 minute) meetings are set for the same day and time each week and allow the team to celebrate successes and discuss challenges. All team members participate and the team leader rotates frequently.
  2. Skill Practice, monthly. At least once a month, the Team Touchbase should include Skill Practice. Learning new things together binds a team. Developing confidence through practice is a tried and tested way to build trusting teams. Creative games, quizzes, demonstrations, etc., help make the learning stick.
  3. Productivity Clinics, quarterly. At least one time per quarter, give your team a challenge: What obstacles keep us from being the fastest, smartest, and best possible team? List these obstacles. Then, select one to creatively brainstorm solutions. Using the multi-voting technique, the team selects one solution and develops a project action plan for accomplishing it. What your team knows and does everyday should not be overlooked just because “you’re the manager.”

Here are a few additional reminders about building a strong team spirit in your organization:

  • Articulate and operate within the company’s core set of values. No amount of team spirit can replace fairness, honesty, and respect for the individual.
  • Provide clear expectations and a sense of purpose. Money motivates, but it doesn’t inspire.
  • Value the contribution of each person on the team. Listen to, acknowledge and celebrate each one who contributes to the whole.
  • Build on strengths. When you put people in a position to utilize their strengths, their weaknesses are minimized.
  • Be willing to tell people to “take a risk today”, rather than “take care today.” Your trust in the people on the team is critical. Few learn from being careful.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

Vision Drives Culture

Vision Drives Culture

Every successful leader knows that sales growth becomes possible when the organization’s vision drives the culture. For many financial institutions, the drive to achieve sales growth can easily be misinterpreted as the organization’s vision. When this happens, selling becomes the vision and service becomes lost. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in either. If your organization’s vision is not visibly focused on service, no amount of effort and expense at creating a dynamic, results-based sales culture will bring long-lasting growth or success.

A best practice for driving growth is to rally your leadership team around a three-dimensional lens for what sales growth looks like. The practice emphasizes the significance of knowing a) how a selling strategy will impact employees, and b) how a commitment to their success will drive the organization.

1. Deeper relationships drive sales growth
Most sales-based employees are motivated by money. This means sales incentive plans play a critical role in achieving growth goals. But, an incentive plan will never fix or replace poor sales
and service behaviors. Exceptional sales and service behaviors are what deepen relationships with customers. Does your team have exceptional sales and service skills?

2. Increased sales activities drive sales growth
If you have a sales incentive plan for your sales team, or are thinking about creating an incentive plan, be sure it includes goals at the activity level and does not simply reward results. When you reward the consistent effort of asking for referrals and setting appointments, your sales team understands that the organization values the development of individual’s work toward mastery. The result of mastery of any skill is results. This focus also ensures appropriate behaviors for both sales representatives and sales managers.

3. Sensible scrutiny drives sales growth
The best time to do a sensible scrutiny of a sales incentive plan is before you release it. Your money-motivated sales team will inevitably look for ways to maximize their financial reward. This often translates to them finding creative ways to ‘beat the system’ and break your incentive budget. You want their enthusiastic participation to work in your favor, not against you. Moreover, putting in place tracking mechanisms and monitoring systems will demonstrate your commitment to behaviors that match your core values.

This three-dimensional lens helps leaders demonstrate the value of service excellence over sales goals. When an organization has won at service excellence, their success with sales growth is unstoppable.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

More Than A Round of Golf: Centers of Influence and Their Value

More Than A Round of Golf: Centers of Influence and Their Value

Growing your portfolio by adding new clients is critical to success in business development. But, business development is lead generation and lead generation is time-consuming, right?

What if the secret to finding new clients was in discovering that you’re keeping secrets from your
Centers of Influence (COIs)? I know what you are thinking, “I take business associates out for golf routinely – they understand our relationship and that I want referrals.” No, they don’t. Simply playing a round of golf with an influencer in your community or in your industry doesn’t equate to getting referrals from them. Do you ask?

The Roper Organization has conducted studies on influential people for decades.Their research suggests that winning the confidence of just oneCOI can create six loyal customers. If you want to improve your hit ratio and work smarter, not harder, take a closer look at this under-utilized strategy for business development.

Start with a three-tier preparation for engaging your COIs:

Define Your Value
Don’t make your COI guess about your value or create their own story. Articulate your value for them, and keep it simple. Take the time to tell your story in a compelling way that differentiates you from others who offer similar services.

Points of Contact
Centers of Influence tend to be active volunteers and activists in their own professional development.They are skilled at networking and will advocate for a trusted business associate. You can seek them out through professional organizations, business associations or networking groups. Join now and get active.

Ask Clearly and Concisely
Approaching COIs should be about more than a round of golf, of course. But, when it is golf, be sure you present your ‘Ask’ in a clear and concise way. Be direct. Be specific.

Finally, the most important part of maintaining consistently valuable COI relationships is follow-up and feedback. Recognize the effort of your COIs who give you a lead or make an introduction with a handwritten note or card. Learn about their business and how you can reciprocate referrals. Request feedback from clients and prospects, when applicable.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com