So it's that time of year again. New year, new start. It's an opportunity to make things better. To do better than last year, and correct the mistakes of the past. You have new plans, systems and processes that will make your team the best they've ever been. If you can get the people involved to get their attitude right and apply themselves, that is.
So as is always the case, you can bring a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. All of the great ground work and education you have put in to date, relies on the teams mind-set. Will they apply themselves to implementing all of your good work? Have they got the Motivation, Focus, PMA, Persistence & Beliefs to make it happen? Because without the right individual Mind-set and Team Culture, the other stuff won't impact. It's like looking to build a house and not paying attention to your foundations. As the build progresses, everything looks sound. But as soon as it's tested, by the weather, a tremor etc. the cracks begin to appear and you know it wont take much for the deck of cards to come tumbling down.
If you don't Design your culture, it will evolve by Default. Then, with the first real test of your "new and improved" plans, system and processes you may learn that the "Default" culture is not as you would have "Designed". It may be expressed as a lack of confidence, a drop in motivation or perseverance, becoming distracted and loosing faith.
When you ignore your foundations (ie Team Culture) at the beginning of the build, you can't be overly disappointed with your team if they display a disappointing mind-set through testing times. Attempting to go back in and sort your foundations, when the walls are cracking, will prove to be a much more timely, costly and difficult task. Where you've got a culture of individuals taking the "Umbrella Position", (ie Keeping themselves dry) it only leads to the team looking to apportion blame for the problem rather than considering how they might contribute to the solution. The attitude of, well ..... "I'm all right Jack" or expressions of hindsight wisdom like, "I knew that .....", will only cause the team culture to further diminish and performance will continue to be effected. It will lead to individuals avoiding responsibility, by looking to apportion blame to anyone other than themselves.
The Moral of the story is .... Lay Sound Foundations. Design your Team Culture to withstand these inevitable tests. Ensure that everyone understands the Vision and how it benefits them (This will ensure Motivation & Persistence). Everyone should be involved in the design the plan to deliver the Vision (This will ensure they feel Valued and take Responsibility). Everyone should know their responsibilities (This will keep them Focused). And finally, but key, you should all agree the Core Values that team members will adhere to (This will ensure that a Positive & Solution Focused attitude will be the overriding approach to difficult situations).
If the traditional skills and responsibilities of Management have been the measurement and control of Money, Time & Quality. The really successful Managers have also paid attention to ensuring that their teams have the sound foundations of the correct "Mind-set / Team Culture. They Design their Teams to be able to withstand the trials and tribulations that will inevitably test their best laid plans.
Happy New Year and Good Luck to you and your team for 2015.