Wow! Team Stick Strategy

Big businesses in the U.S. are receiving bailout funds. Whether they “deserve” this or not is something many of us question. I for one am always loathe for dollars to be thrown to who yells the loudest or can harm the most, rather than those positioned to add the most value. Ok. It’s done.

So what?! Lots of things happen “just because” and we can whine about it, or we can make our own success. Every action is our choice.

We choose to keep adding value with what we’ve got… We are sticking to it! We are confident, accountable .. and we trust that our journey is adding value, including to those in our company.

Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to Abrige & C-Secure team members who are doing all they can with the resources at hand today…knowing there is a better tomorrow and that we control that. The prize is near from this entrepreneurial journey. You know who you are, because you are here. You exhibit confidence, trust and accountability. We are sticking together.

Why is this “wow!”? Choosing to stick when pay or perks become more tightly linked to performance requires confidence, trust and accountability. One must have the confidence in themselves that they can complete what was started. There must be trust that the leader will steer the company well if all the crew are doing what they are supposed to do. And accountability is required to meet promises to reach a long term goal, which may require more effort with less reward in the short term. We will remain strong because we have confidence, trust and accountability.

Why is this important? In times like these every organization needs a stick strategy. That strategy should hone in on the individuals, partners, contractors, etc. that exhibit the critical traits and behaviors the leader is looking for. The short list are people who would be desired in the organization even if it was very lean and you were working closely together in not-so-good times. In fact, these traits and behaviors in many cases can cause a lesser skilled person to be more desirable than a highly skilled person. Re-think the definition of “best” and consider more strongly “adding value.”
Congrats Team! Wow! Let’s stick with this good thing we have going!

P.S.
This is not the post in which to fully describe a stick strategy for people, but I will briefly overview ours…

Our stick strategy requires the leader (me) to hone in on those who exhibit confidence, trust and accountability. Those are the individual I want to stick with us; I want them here no matter what “the times” (economy, regulations, health, etc.) throw at us.

The strategy includes a weeding out process. It’s not a feel-good plan – it is a “we are in this business for keeps” strategy. For example, if I’ve been communicating effectively over time I will already know who exhibits these qualities. But there are exceptions…

For example, at times an individual’s work slips by without a thorough review. If they no longer feel accountable for issues that may arise from what they did or didn’t do then they slip down in order in this stick strategy.

At times others may be moved up in order. For example, I typically give more than one chance, especially if only one of the three traits is missing, until I am clear why that is. For example if my actions or words cause a weakening in an individual’s confidence, then the individual may not be able to exhibit the confidence I’m looking for without further conversation. Or it may be that I’ve put someone in a role that doesn’t play to their strengths. If confidence (based on skill, experience, judgment, ability to have actions match words, etc.) should be there otherwise, or there is a more well-fitting role for them, then time will be given for the confidence to be rebuilt.

There is often little in a Strategy or HR policy for a leader to turn to when the decision deals with getting leaner. Retention strategies are typically built with a stable or growing organization in mind. A stick strategy supports a leader in decisions regarding the workforce at all times. It also can apply to individuals throughout the value chain (suppliers, partners, etc.). We need more useful strategies for bad times, such as in this U.S. recession. A stick strategy helps.

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