In my workshops I stress the importance of having a game plan that the team is passionately committed to as we strive to achieve superb implementation.

Keeping the team upbeat and energized as they work on achieving their goals is an important leadership responsibility. There are times when it is obvious to all that implementation is failing due to holes in the game plan, and it is critical for a leader to keep his or her finger on the pulse in case the plan needs to be tweaked in order to ensure that everyone remains committed and passionate.

One way of doing this is to have a structured way of obtaining feedback. I have always gone out of my way to seek input and feedback by having individual “desk chats,” where I sit at a team member’s desk for 5 minutes just chatting, having chats over coffee, and in team meetings via brainstorming sessions. You have to take this seriously-take notes, follow up, respond with your most honest answer, and take action. If you don’t, the information highway will soon dry up and your team won’t waste their time on you.

During a time of significant change within the financial services industry, I wrote to our 500 plus financial planners seeking their input on three points:

• How to improve customer service

• How to improve staff morale

• How to increase revenue or reduce expenses

Over 400 responded with some excellent suggestions, and I responded personally to them all with a handwritten note thanking them for their input. We implemented many of their suggestions, and this was a major reason that our financial services area was able to consistently achieve customer satisfaction and staff morale scores in the very high 90s, whilst the rest of the bank was achieving scores in the 60-percentile range.

The following story has been around for a long time, but illustrates the point I want to make today about being prepared to adjust your game plan.

One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read, “I am blind, please help.” A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it. He returned the sign to the blind man and left.

That afternoon, the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of coins. The blind man recognized his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what it said. The publicist responded, “Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently.” He smiled and went on his way.

The new sign read, “Today is Spring, and I cannot see it.”

Sometimes we need to change our strategy just a little bit, and then benefits quickly become obvious.

If you would like to discuss implementing your strategy in a more effective way via a “Game Plan” contact Ken for a no obligation chat.

Ken Wright +61 414 157657