Teams want to be effectively guided by an effective Leader… more like a coach and not like a Boss. Leading a team is more than managing things well. It requires interpersonal skills to effectively guide one of the important assets of a company…the human resources.
For your reference, here are a few tips to help you effectively guide your team.
Straw Man Strategy
A “straw man strategy” can be very useful, as long as people know that it has been designed to be pulled apart. When you begin a project or start looking into a problem, the straw man approach is much like brainstorming. The goal is to generate ideas/options without evaluation because the goal is to keep generating ideas. Even at this initial stage, constructive feedback and suggestions can provide vital feedback that can be used to develop the best possible solution.
For example; Suppose your revenue has been falling in the past few months and you have to come up with a better sales strategy to boost sales. Using the straw man strategy. Perhaps you can brainstorm/sketch out something like this:
- Create a draft outline to expand current market and new markets.
- Outline the markets that might offer good prospects, based on your initial judgment and experience.
- Present your draft proposal to the team and tell them that it is a straw man – This is critical because everyone must clearly understand that your idea is the starting point and was created for the purpose of collaboration.
- Analyze the proposal, find the weak points, clarify assumptions and decision-making criteria, and work on a refined proposal.
- Draft a new proposal and repeat the process until a final decision is made. These subsequent proposals can be given names too: such as wood man, tin man and iron man.
- In a culture that values being right, the notion of constructing a straw man may be difficult to embrace. Why spend time drafting something that, ultimately, isn’t going to be used? If you can get past this perception you will be surprised at how useful the technique can be. One of its main advantages is that it forces you to do something by taking an initial form of action.
- Taking too long to deliberate the merits of an idea or hypothesis can be costly, as you risk never making a decision at all. With a straw man, you force an early, if incomplete, decision. This ensures that a final decision will be reached because doing nothing means accepting a poor plan by default.
Thus, drafting a Straw Man proposal helps the Management Team, a great tool to evolve the project/proposal with the passage of time and new findings/observations and pushes the project for the vital decisions to create the desired benchmarks.
Set the right expectations & time to nurture the organization
Any activity done without clear vision and mission is considered as “purposeless”. Considering the same, the executive team must clear the vision and mission of the organization and set the right expectations among the team.
Envisioning the Managers and Employees with expected goals and milestones of the organization, helps to maintain streamlined productivity throughout the journey. In project management, this also leads the team for an effective communication among all stakeholders.
For any startup, rightly set expectations interests the investors and leads the organization to wrap up probation period real quick. After this, a very crucial stage is to provide time to nurture the organization and teams. As they say, “Fruits can’t be made overnight!!” – the startup needs a fair time to get matured as Enterprise along with lots of nurturing efforts..
To bifurcate, we can assume that the first 2-3 years should be spent in building the organization and potential team focused to build meaningful services and products. For the year 3-4, the executive team should be focused on building the market for the existing products and robust revenue model for funding fuels.
Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Any activity shall be considered vague if we remove the purpose or goal out of it. Similar productivity can only be measured with completion of milestones. Such milestones can be considered as “Key Performance Indicators (KPI). A key performance indicator (KPI) is a business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization.
Whether it is project management or sales management, KPIs adds the value in analysing the gap between estimated productivity and actual productivity. Such indicators are also helpful to measure the monetary aspects of the productivity, such as budgeting, estimation and profit/loss outcomes. KPIs are applied in Business Intelligence (BI) to gauge business trends and advise tactical courses of action. Before KPIs can be identified, the following requirements must be met:
- A predefined organizational process.
- Clear business objectives for the process.
- Quantitative and qualitative measurements.
- An active approach to finding and remedying enterprise variances.
Thus, putting up KPIs in the organization helps to drive the environment more focused and productivity oriented. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary 45 minute strategy call link to explore what can be possible for yourself and your organization!