My week has been a bit of a blur. It’s been one of those weeks when I have to consciously sit down and give myself a moment to breathe, sip my coffee and take stock. It was an outstanding week. But it was a bit of a blur. Maybe these two are mutually dependent. I am sure it is possible to have one without the other, but both together are a powerful combination.
I had a two day Face to Face meeting of my team. We were virtually all present. Everyone not only made the trip but maximized the value by spending additional days on site – meeting, engaging and working with their own team members. My calendar was back to back all week. My evenings were full. My breakfasts were double booked. My inbox was overflowing.
I always find these weeks exciting and energising (and tiring). They excite me since I am never sure what the outcome or output will be, but I know it will be good. They energise me since its opportunity to have my whole team together in a room. Telephone meetings are valuable, email is essential, but nothing compares with Face to Face. We are still a relatively new team, distributed across locations, in a significantly changed organisation. And so these meetings are of even more significance for us…and for me.
My philosophy for a team is both classical and simple. The whole has to be more valuable than the sum of the component parts. For this to be possible, let alone true, there has to be a bond between team members. Team members need to know each other, trust each other and understand each other. Strengthening these relationships through face to face contact is essential. Experiences are shared. Joint memories are created. Comfort levels are enhanced.
And – just as importantly – being with others and doing good work is fun and enjoyable. As someone once said…‘your favourite memories, the most important moments in your life…were you alone? Life’s better with company.’ These words were – of course – referring to family, but the same principles apply to our work.
We have experienced change this year. Colleagues have left and colleagues have joined. Our business has changed. Our challenges have changed. Our opportunities have changed. Our passion has not changed. Our desire has not changed.
We spent time this week acknowledging and understanding these changes and seeking to explore new ways of working individually and collectively.
My focus is always on deliverables. I am sure deliverables is a made up word, but I like it nevertheless. Process – especially good process – is essential, but deliverables are what counts. Deliverables are what make a difference. Deliverables engage. And the focus on deliverables is not just in terms of what we do in a meeting, but it’s also in terms of what we communicate from the meeting. Two exciting approaches to Talent Development. Three intriguing ideas to deliver value to our partners. Commitment to a compelling way to engage our colleagues.
At times of change I benefit from a clear sense of direction within the organisation…a compelling vision. I read and listen to everything that comes out from my leaders – what is their vision? How compelling is it for me? How easily will it allow me to do what I believe needs to be done. How well will it enable me to achieve what I know I want to achieve?
Commitment is something that we are frequently asked to give to the cause. I think that commitment is something that we have to feel. Commitment is something that we feel for something – or someone – we believe in.