Set Clear Ground Rules for Your Virtual Team


All workplaces need ground rules, but they’re particularly important for remote work.

When a team is spread out among branch offices, coffee shops, and hotel lobbies, people may have wildly different ideas about what’s expected of them.

Make clear what kind of latitude and independence team members can expect, what resources will be available to them, and how much team members will be expected to travel.

If people work in different time zones, it’s critical to set ground rules around working hours, too. Managers should think about these questions:

  • What times of day are team members expected to be available?

  • How will you schedule meetings to accommodate each person?

  • What should people do if they find their responsibilities require them to work overtime or outside their scheduled hours?.

Giving the team this kind of guidance up front will help them work more effectively.

Trevor Lee

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

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Three steps to building a top team.


When your top team fails to function, it will likely paralyze the whole company.

 

Few teams function as well as they could. But the stakes get higher with senior-executive teams: dysfunctional ones can slow down, derail, or even paralyze a whole company. McKinsey in their work with top teams at more than 100 leading multinational companies, including surveys with 600 senior executives at 30 of them, they identified three crucial priorities for constructing and managing effective top teams. Getting these priorities right can help drive better business outcomes in areas ranging from customer satisfaction to worker productivity and many more as well.

  1. Get the right people on the team . . . and the wrong ones off

Determining the membership of a top team is the CEO’s responsibility—and frequently the most powerful lever to shape a team’s performance. Many CEOs regret not employing this lever early enough or thoroughly enough. Still others neglect it entirely, assuming instead that factors such as titles, pay grades, or an executive’s position on the org chart are enough to warrant default membership. Little surprise, then, that more than one-third of the executives they surveyed said their top teams did not have the right people and capabilities.

The key to getting a top team’s composition right is deciding what contributions the team as a whole, and its members as individuals, must make to achieve an organization’s performance aspirations and then making the necessary changes in the team. This sounds straight-forward, but it typically requires conscious attention and courage from the CEO; otherwise, the top team can under-deliver for an extended period of time.

  1. Make sure the top team does just the work only it can do

Many top teams struggle to find purpose and focus. Only 38 percent of the executives McKinsey surveyed said their teams focused on work that truly benefited from a top-team perspective. Only 35 percent said their top teams allocated the right amounts of time among the various topics they considered important, such as strategy and people.

  1. Address team dynamics and processes

A final area demanding unrelenting attention from CEOs is effective team dynamics, whose absence is a frequent problem: among the top teams McKinsey studied, members reported that only about 30 percent of their time was spent in “productive collaboration”—a figure that dropped even more when teams dealt with high-stakes topics where members had differing, entrenched interests.

Correcting dysfunctional dynamics requires focused attention and interventions, preferably as soon as an ineffective pattern shows up.

Finally, most teams need to change their support systems or processes to catalyse and embed change.

Each top team is unique, and every CEO will need to address a unique combination of challenges.

Developing a highly effective top team typically requires good diagnostics, followed by a series of workshops and field work to address the dynamics of the team while it attends to hard business issues. The best top teams will begin to take collective responsibility and to develop the ability to maintain and improve their own effectiveness, creating a lasting performance edge.

© McKinsey & Co • Michiel Kruyt, Judy Malan, and Rachel Tuffield

Trevor Lee

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

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PIF (PAY IT FORWARD)


pif-1

Problem

There is a lot of expertise in any organization. It often remains within the individual and rarely gets to benefit others in the peer group.

When newer Managers encounter difficulty, they usually don’t know whom to approach.

They are hesitant for various reasons but mainly out of fear of appearing dumb.

There is a need for an informal setup in the organization that promotes collaboration by encouraging the (expert) Managers to coach the (novice) Managers. An internal network if you will.

pif-2

Solution

Problems are a constant for any Manager – how does she solve them? She most often seeks the help of a peer or a senior Manager within the organization. What happens if the senior Manager has a problem?

She asks another one and so on via their internal network (of trust). All it takes to start such a network is for one Manager to help another. Reciprocating help then becomes the normal. In this way all the Managers in the organization will coalesce in a way that no formal roles or hierarchies will. The camaraderie between Managers will be infectious, thanks to this small gesture. It just takes one person to start the process – could that be you?

Practical Impact
• Increased goodwill between Managers within the organization
• Best Practices sharing by an informal network
• Problems get solved as quickly as they arise

Challenges

Bureaucracy is the biggest obstacle. As long as there is no sign of this being an official initiative, the network will become self-sustaining. It may take a while for it to evolve – but once established, it will be very effective in binding the whole management team to a common purpose.

First Steps

As C-suite leaders you should prompt, even start, such an initiative. Just watch it grow – it will be truly empowering both wide and deep within your organization.

pif-3

Trevor Lee

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

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Executive Search & Interim Management since 2001
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CORPORATE CULTURE


Hosted guest blog from Frank Lewis, Chairman and NED of both Public and Private Companies across Europe, China, Africa and the Middle East.

The FRC in the last few months have come out with a Report which looked at the increasing importance which Corporate Culture plays in delivering long term business and economic success.

Stakeholders and Society in general have a vested interest in healthy corporate values, attitudes and behaviors that lead to sustainable growth and long term economic success.

A healthy Corporate culture is a valuable asset, a source of competitive advantage and useful to the creation and protection of long term value. It is the Board’s role to determine the purpose of the Company, and ensure that the Company’s values, strategy and business model are aligned to the stated culture and vision.

Culture in a corporate context can be defined as a contribution of the values, attitudes and behaviours manifested by a Company in its operations and relations with it stakeholders. These stakeholders included shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community and environment which are affected by the Company’s conduct.

Culture is much more about people than rules. Codes of conduct are a baseline. A culture is created by what you do rather than what you say.

Leaders, in particular the Chief Executive must embody the desired culture, embedding this at all levels and in every aspect of the business. Boards will have the responsibility to act where leaders do not deliver.

Even though not directly responsible for embedding culture, boards never the less play an important role in influencing culture and in supporting the efforts of the executive team to embed the values and reinforce desired behaviors and culture.

Two of the most important ways in which Boards can influence culture are in leading by example – displaying and communicating the values when in the business – and the selection and management of the Chief Executive.

Therefore for Boards, culture starts with their behavior in the boardroom. Employees need to see that the leadership is held to account and to the same standards as the rest of the organisation.

It is generally accepted that the Chief Executive has the most influence over the culture of the Business – even more so in smaller companies. The accountability for assessing and driving culture lies with the management team. And especially the Chief Executive, who sets expectations and drives behavior and change throughout the organisation.

There is a Board culture and an organisation culture. The two are linked, but it is the Chief Executive who most influences organisational culture. The key is to balance the focus of the Board, so to encourage the right behaviors across the organisation without trying to do the job of the Chief Executive.

Therefore the relationship between the Chairman and the Chief Executive is important in defining cultural behavior and policies across the business. The more closely they work together the more likely it is that a strong ethical culture will evolve across the business.

Dominant personalities can be disruptive in all sorts of ways especially culture. Therefore choosing the correct balance of people, especially the Chief Executive, is key to the culture of the organisation.

CONCLUSION

Therefore Company Boards

  1. Should be connecting their purpose and strategy to culture.
  2. Aligning values and incentives which support and encourage positive behaviours consistent with the Company’s purpose, values, strategy and business model.
  3. Assessing, measuring and reporting on Company culture in Annual Financial Statements

 

culture-2

Trevor Lee – CEO Worldwide

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ep-i.net

@trevorblee

Executive Search & Interim Management
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

Give Women the Space to Contribute in Meetings


In the ideal meeting, all attendees participate, contributing diverse points of view and ideas. But few meetings live up to that.

Multiple studies have shown that women are interrupted in meetings far more often, and their ideas are taken less seriously. To make sure you’re getting the most from all participants, take unconscious bias seriously. Foster a culture in which both men and women are encouraged to “call it out” when they see someone being inadvertently silenced in a discussion.

Enlist progressive men to lead by example, and hold them accountable for allowing their female counterparts to contribute. You can balance the playing field with ground rules such as “no talking over each other,” or by going around the table when you’re seeking input on a critical decision.

Most important, take the worst offenders aside and point out their behavior — they may be unaware of it.

Adapted from “Run Meetings That Are Fair to Introverts, Women, and Remote Workers,”

by Renee Cullinan

cropped-secret.jpg

Trevor Lee – EP International

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.

 

How To Become An Adaptive Business


What links these stellar organisations? 

American Express, HCL Technologies, Hilti, John Lewis Partnership,

Southwest Airlines, Statoildm-drogerie markt,

Morning Star, Toyota, Whole Food Markets and W.L.Gore.

They represent a growing number who pursue an ‘adaptive management model’ via bbrt.org.

Are these organisations successful and ‘fit for the future’?

By any measure, absolutely!

 

So to help you on your journey here are the TWELVE

principles that they rigorously employ.

#1 – Values 

Bind people to a common cause, not a central plan.

#2 – Governance

Govern through shared values and sound judgment, not detailed rules and regulations.

#3 –Transparency

Make information open and transparent, don’t restrict and control it.

#4 – Teams

Organize around a network of accountable teams, not centralized functions.

#5 – Trust

Trust teams to regulate and improve their performance; don’t micro-manage them.

#6 –Accountability

Base accountability on holistic criteria and peer reviews, not on hierarchical relationships.

#7 – Goals

Set ambitious medium term goals, not short-term negotiated targets.

#8 – Rewards

Base rewards on relative performance, not fixed targets.

#9 – Planning

Make planning a continuous and inclusive process, not a top-down annual event.

#10 – Coordination

Coordinate interactions dynamically, not through annual budgets.

#11 – Resources

Make resources available just-in-time, not just-in-case.

#12 – Controls

Base controls on fast, frequent feedback, not on budget variances.

These principles will enable and encourage a cultural climate change that will enable your organization to attract and keep the best people as well as drive continuous adaptation, innovation and growth. They define the new management model for the twenty-first century organization.

adapt-or-perish

Are you missing out? – Is there more to be discovered?

Further resource: BBRT.org

Curated by Trevor Lee  –  EP International

tblee@ep-i.net

@trevorblee

We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.

Build a Better Top Team


When your top team fails to function, it will likely paralyse the whole company.


Few teams function as well as they could. But the stakes get higher with senior-executive teams: dysfunctional ones can slow down, derail, or even paralyse a whole company. McKinsey in their work with top teams at more than 100 leading multinational companies, including surveys with 600 senior executives at 30 of them, they identified three crucial priorities for constructing and managing effective top teams. Getting these priorities right can help drive better business outcomes in areas ranging from customer satisfaction to worker productivity and many more as well.

TEAM BUILDING

1. Get the right people on the team . . . and the wrong ones off

Determining the membership of a top team is the CEO’s responsibility—and frequently the most powerful lever to shape a team’s performance. Many CEOs regret not employing this lever early enough or thoroughly enough. Still others neglect it entirely, assuming instead that factors such as titles, pay grades, or an executive’s position on the org chart are enough to warrant default membership. Little surprise, then, that more than one-third of the executives they surveyed said their top teams did not have the right people and capabilities.

The key to getting a top team’s composition right is deciding what contributions the team as a whole, and its members as individuals, must make to achieve an organization’s performance aspirations and then making the necessary changes in the team. This sounds straight-forward, but it typically requires conscious attention and courage from the CEO; otherwise, the top team can under-deliver for an extended period of time.

2. Make sure the top team does just the work only it can do

Many top teams struggle to find purpose and focus. Only 38 percent of the executives McKinsey surveyed said their teams focused on work that truly benefited from a top-team perspective. Only 35 percent said their top teams allocated the right amounts of time among the various topics they considered important, such as strategy and people.

3. Address team dynamics and processes

A final area demanding unrelenting attention from CEOs is effective team dynamics, whose absence is a frequent problem: among the top teams McKinsey studied, members reported that only about 30 percent of their time was spent in “productive collaboration”—a figure that dropped even more when teams dealt with high-stakes topics where members had differing, entrenched interests.

  • Correcting dysfunctional dynamics requires focused attention and interventions, preferably as soon as an ineffective pattern shows up.

  • Each top team is unique, and every CEO will need to address a unique combination of challenges.

  • Finally, most teams need to change their support systems or processes to catalyse and embed change.

Developing a highly effective top team typically requires good diagnostics, followed by a series of workshops and field work to address the dynamics of the team while it attends to hard business issues. The best top teams will begin to take collective responsibility and to develop the ability to maintain and improve their own effectiveness, creating a lasting performance edge.

© McKinsey & Co • Michiel Kruyt, Judy Malan, and Rachel Tuffield – 2011

WHARFSIDE

Edited by Trevor Lee,  EP International

@TBLepi