ENGAGE SERIES: Coordinate - Meet


We're talking today about the need to coordinate your team. The larger topic we're covering at the moment is how to engage your people for greater productivity and we have covered the need for collaboration. But collaboration without coordination is ineffectual. I'm not a big fan of meetings for meeting’s sake. If you’re like me and you've been around the corporate world for a while you probably spent a disproportionate part of your life in meetings. Yes, we need to meet, but no we don't need long complex, time filling, inefficient and ineffective meetings.

Thomas Sowell famously said, “People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” Something with which I wholeheartedly agree.

The frustration here is people with well-meaning intentions spending a lot of time together but not necessarily making things happen. What we want is a coordinated, thought-out plan, to ensure that team members connect with each other in an effective way.

The answer is a top-down plan, a culture that respects people's time and a structured approach to meetings. If we get this right, then we will be not only connecting our people well and coordinating their efforts, but also creating a high performance and enjoyable culture. Those two factors are not mutually exclusive.

I think a lot of leaders, particularly ones who have been doing it for a while, are pretty good at leading the individual, one-on-one. I do see a lack though of putting people in a room and building the whole team, not just a group of individuals.

A great team made up of average individuals, will always beat an average team made up of great individuals. There is real value, lots of value, between roles. Getting your team together regularly, allowing them to talk to the challenges and opportunities they see in their individual roles, and giving them access and visibility to the challenges and opportunities faced by others, creates a much more cohesive whole.

It's one of the challenges we face with a more remote workforce. Regardless of location or the media through which we connect, connect we must, if we are to see potential realised.

The principle here is that as a leader we need to coordinate and to do that we have to meet, and those meetings must be both constructive and efficient.

If you don’t meet you can’t build relationships, get alignment, or gain inclusion, let alone make decisions, innovate and improve engagement.

I have a client who was struggling to deal with the noise of team members reaching out to him daily to deal with issues or keep him informed. Being the owner of a fast growing organisation, it was becoming a burden dealing with multiple team members demands. He agreed to instigate a set weekly time for each individual that reported to him and a scheduled leadership team meeting not only for information but also to wrestle with opportunities and issues. What happened almost immediately was the noise level dropped and team members waited to connect at their allocated and coordinated times. We are also on the journey to empower team members and this coordination effort has also assisted in that transition.

A planned approach to coordinating teams is needed to fully mobilise your team resources and capability effectively.

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