I’ve been using a training room on the 11th floor of a building in Fenchurch Street, London on a fairly regular basis for a little over a year.
Across the road is a building site which has been the fascination of myself and many course delegates during coffee breaks over this period. For months progress seemed painfully slow – not a lot happening. Just clearing the site and digging some extremely deep holes!
Suddenly, on my last two visits, I’ve been amazed how quickly things have changed. The foundations stage complete, now things are moving fast. The building is taking shape as its structure rises from well below ground level to form a new landmark on the London skyline.
The same principle that applies to buildings is also true with building strength in an organisation’s people. If the foundations are good, the sky’s the limit. If they are weak, inefficiency, stress, confusion and conflict abound.
When it comes to people and performance there are also ‘foundations’ that if everyone in a team understands and consistently does, make a huge impact on effectiveness and overall productivity.
Here’s a few ideas that help form that strong foundation:
- The ability to set and work to clearly defined goals
- Understanding ‘WHY’ – knowing the purpose behind the goal
- The power of The Slight Edge & 1% improvements
- Avoiding crisis mode & constant fire-fighting.
- ‘High Payoff Activities’ & the power of 80:20
- Effective, systematic daily planning & prioritising
- Not living in your inbox
- Choosing most appropriate means of communication
- Sensitively handling interactions with others
- Maintaining a healthy balance across all areas of life
I’m sure you could add others to this list and I’m also sure that few, if any, of these subject areas are things you’re not already familiar with. They are not the icing on the cake. They are the base-layer. The starting point. Like in the building project described above, disproportionate time and care should be taken to make sure they are properly laid.
It’s not complex but neither is it simple.
So many times I’ve seen that difficulties faced by individuals, teams and sometimes whole organisations stem from poorly laid foundations.
The magic is not in knowing about these foundational concepts but in the consistent application of these ideas in a consistent way by all members of your team!
It’s for the reasons stated above that the course I run most often, and am always excited by the results, is the half-day Foundations of Success workshop. If you’d like to know more about Foundations of Success, click this link