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How do you get your team on the same page? You don’t!

by on November 6, 2014


How do you get your company to embrace a radical new strategy that will eventually change virtually every aspect of how the company operates?

The answer is You Don’t!

Not in one big event or program, anyway.

Your team will line up to your vision and your strategy when they have confidence that your leadership will get them to where you’re taking them.

That confidence comes from small successes, tangible evidence that the vision and strategy makes sense.

You will not motivate your team with hoopla and words alone.

Under the right conditions the problems of commitment, alignment, motivation, and change just melt away.  They largely take care of themselves.

What do employees want?

After all, what do people really want from their work more than anything else?

They want to be part of a winning team.  They want to contribute to producing visible, tangible results.  They want to feel the excitement of being involved in something that just flat-out works.

When the company, and by extrapolation the investors and the outside community, begin to see tangible results, when they can feel the company is actually delivering on its promises and commitments, that’s when the team lines up behind you.  That’s when the cynicism dies away.

And what do these companies call their initiative, this program?  They don’t call it anything.  There are no names for this transformation.  No launch event, no tag line.

There is no single breakthrough event.  In fact, to those inside the company it feels like a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needs to be done and doing it, one after the other.

It’s far too easy to announce a new program aimed at “motivating the troops”.  These companies are looking for the quick fix, the silver bullet that will bring everyone together.  I’ve seen it happen all the time.  The result tends to be underwhelming and in some cases even harmful, making the situation worse than it was before.

Tremendous power exists in the fact of continued improvement and the delivery of results.

The Stonecutter Effect

I call it the “Stonecutter Effect.”

How does a stonecutter break open a giant boulder?  He starts out with a big hammer and hits the boulder as hard as he can.  The first time he hits it there’s not a scratch, not even a chip.  Nothing.  He hits it again and again, 100, 200, 300 times without making visible progress.  But he keeps on hitting it.

People will ask, why are you doing that?  Nothing is happening!

But the stonecutter knows that just because you don’t see immediate results from your current actions, it doesn’t mean you’re not making progress.

He keeps hitting it at different points in the stone and at some point, maybe on the 500th or the 700th or even the 1,000th hit, the stone doesn’t just chip, but literally splits in half.

Was it this one single hit that broke the stone open?  Of course not.

It was the constant and continual pressure being applied to the project at hand.

Jim Collins calls this the “Flywheel Effect” in his book, Good to Great.

Great Companies are like Great Wine

It also reminds me of one of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley, The Bremer Family Winery.  Their slogan is “Patience, No Compromise.”

Like most of the finer wineries they age their wine in oak barrels for two years, after which they’re bottled.  Most wineries will release these wines after 1-2 years in the bottle.

Not the Bremers.

While most wineries are currently releasing their 2011 vintages, the Bremers have just released their 2008 vintages.  That’s 3 more years in the bottle than everyone else.  Think about the costs of holding that inventory!

Why do they do it?  Because they are very disciplined to release only the wine that they like and will drink.  They don’t want you to cellar the wine.  They want you to enjoy it.  As a result, their current releases are very good and well received.

The other point is they do not submit their wine to judges for tasting.  They’re not making wine that the judges will like.  They’re making wine that they like.

And their advertising/marketing budget?  $0.00.  That’s right, zero.

So how do they make any money if they don’t advertise, they don’t get exposure from judges, and they hold their inventory far longer than most wineries?

The answer is by being committed to making a great product and doing it year after year.

They now have a great following, a big wine club, and their calendar is full of tasting appointments.

Be Disciplined and Make Small Successes

When you let your work and results do the talking, you don’t need to be constantly communicating your goals.  If you diligently and successfully make small steps and deliver on promises and commitments, hitting the boulder over and over again, you will eventually breakthrough.

It might not happen today, or this month, or this quarter.  It might not even happen this year.  But it WILL happen.

And when it does you will face a new set of challenges: how to outperform ever increasing expectations.


If you want to learn how your company can connect with your employees so your team is aligned so that your revenues can grow rapidly, contact me for a quick chat about the Valuation Amplification Process.

We help you go from a place where your team is working at cross purposes and wasting time and resources because the company’s direction and strategy isn’t clear to a place where everyone is working towards the same, clear, agreed upon goals and targets.

I also invite you to download the white paper and learn the 5 step process on How to Quickly Increase Your Valuation: a Proven 5 Step Process.


From → Strategy, Valuation

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  1. Key signs that your Strategy is wrong | Mike Rogers

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