business growth · strategic vision

The Game – How do you expect your team to win if they don’t know the rules?

This is an analogy I use all the time with clients as it really is very apt; how can you expect your team to win not just the game but the championship without ever knowing the rules!

Because in effect that is exactly what you are doing unless you have taken the time to work out exactly what you want your business to be, where you want it to go and how you are going to get there.

So, what do you want your business to be? Where do you want it to go? And how are you going to get there?

Let’s start with where you want your business to go; be specific, it is not enough to merely say that you want to be successful. What is your vision for the business e.g. to be in the top 3 of your industry within 3 years. Then with the buy-in of your team you need to work out how you are going to get there.

By using this process you establish the rules of the game and how your team will win the championship.

The rules of the game are basically the core values of the business & the monthly, quarterly & annual objectives converted into key performance indicators and/or priorities; to achieve your goal for the quarter what must you absolutely make happen now, today, this week and this month?

The trick then is to monitor progress and to give timely feedback. This is when you start to see the magic of buy in take place; provided that you have involved the team in the building of the vision and how together you will make it happen this is payback time! Armed with accurate up to date information on how the business is tracking and a clear understanding of how it affects them personally your team will deliver results you would not believe possible!

In case you havent worked it out yet, explaining the rules of the game to your team involves a great deal of transparency or open book management. The best example I know of this in action would be at SRC or Springfield Remanufacturing Corp where Jack Stack created the Great Game of Business.

A great read and a great example of the power of employee buy in!

An excerpt from the book worth living by for any business owner would be “The higher laws of business”

1. You get what you give
2. Its easy to stop one guy, but it’s pretty hard to stop 100
3.What goes around comes around
4. You do what you gotta do
5. You gotta wanna
6. You can sometimes fool the fans, but you can never fool the players
7. When you raise the bottom, the top rises
8. When people set their own targets, they usually hit them
9.If nobody pays attention, people stop caring
10. As they say in Missouri: Shit rolls downhill. By which we mean change begins at the top

I hope this article starts you on the road to defining the rules to your game and, may the best team win!

Regards, John

John Maher Business Improvement Specialist

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