Win the Tour De France, not the stage


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During the keynote speech by Marcus Buckingham at the HR Technology conference 2015, I was pleased to hear a clear alignment between Marcus’s speech and the way that providers, like Pilat, help their clients to make incremental gains by focusing on the makeup and power of team working. Incremental performance improvement in teams can significantly improve the overall success of an organization.

‘Marginal gains’ as coined by Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky cycling boss, makes the difference between a team coming first or second. In the world of cycling, a marginal gain can be a team member getting a better night’s sleep by the team transporting their own mattress and pillow to each hotel on their cycling tours, looking at weight loss on the bikes and the riders or extensively researching the routes for the next day. Imagine how powerful understanding team make-up and what marginal gains could be made in any organization who has hundreds of teams, teams who are not competing directly against each other, but whose team fit and progressive gains could being channeled into the success of the overall organization. Pillows, mattresses and weight loss make way for strong team make-up, collaboration, a clear understanding of the organization’s direction and what achievement looks like.

An example of this is a US-based Fortune 500 utilities that Pilat works with, who use a multi-rater assessment approach to evaluate the behaviors and skills of their operational top teams in each of their plants, to determine where the team’s group strengths and development needs lie by focusing on the aggregation of team data. They can compare aggregate assessments to other teams in their organization and are starting to understand what combination of team members make up the ideal team for their business. They can identify where larger development gaps in teams may warrant an adjustment of team members to meet those gaps quicker than team development with existing members.

This is very useful for looking at team’s fit retrospectively, but envisage an approach where organizations can form teams based on the ideal make-up to achieve success in advance of team formation, whether business unit, location or project focused. How powerful is that?

Let’s take an example. A customer who wishes to make their business efficient are to invest $1.5 billion to fund 2,500 efficiency projects in order to save $3 billion. All managers over time have regularly been undertaking multi-rater assessments for self-development and this data is used to drive individual development based on their ability to perform in their roles and key positions where they are seen as potential successors.

Through technology, there are tools out there that can provide an organization the ability to pull together any employee’s prior assessments into an online aggregation to look at the makeup of teams to ensure team fit in order to achieve the efficiency initiatives.

Being able to review likelihood of success in advance of team formation is hugely powerful. Being able to then define success profiles for future teams is even more so.

As HR leaders, you are going to need to shift the way you approach your jobs, and this provides you with insights that will truly contribute to your organization’s success, demonstrating how HR should interface with the business by adding value.

Stuart Page
WHAT I DO: I help clients find the best software solutions to transform their companies, through automating Learning Management, Talent Management & HCM processes and content. Ensuring my clients set out on their business transformation as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible. I offer subject matter expertise, advice and hand-holding through their journey.WHO I WORK WITH: For over 20 years, helping companies in the high consequence sectors of life sciences, transportation, energy, financial services, government, manufacturing and healthcare


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