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The key to high performance teamwork

Ingenuity | Collaboration | Insight

The key to high performance teamwork

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a remarkable character. The Guiness Book of Records says that “Sir Ran is the greatest explorer ever”:  he completed a transglobal navigation around the Earth, pole to pole.  He has crossed Antartica and the Artic man-hauling 250kg sledges.  He has run 7 marathons, in 7 continents, in 7 days.  He has climbed Everest and the North Face of the Eiger; the only man to do this and explore both poles.  His autobiography is awe inspiring. When not exploring, he spends his life talking about his experiences, giving motivational speeches and raising fortunes for charity.

For us mere mortals, is there some essence from his inspiration that we can recognise in change programmes?

People work in organisations for all manner of reasons:  The classic big 3 of Money, Fulfilment and Power, tend to dominate as the most popular. Hence, it follows that carrot and stick plays well to  Power & Money: the lure of promotion with increasing influence and financial incentive, big bonus’s etc.  The stick of course being a reduction in these items.  Controlling these two elements is a base human characteristic. But beyond earning enough money to life comfortably and having a good network of respectful colleagues and friends, there should be more.

Fulfillment is key.  This is what makes work enjoyable, interesting, worthwhile… and stems from value, recognition, and intellectual stimulation. Recent studies on happiness have shown that having clear purpose is a top driver.  This is why many people strive for goals, like Sir Ran, that not only give personal satisfaction for the achievement but also benefit others the process. In Sir Ranulph’s case over £15m of charitable fund raising.  For teams this includes helping customers truly achieve the improvements they seek, making a difference to peoples lives or more simply just helping people do their jobs more efficiently.  There is fulfillment is doing a job to the best of ones ability and being recognised for it.

We have seen countless examples where helping teams connect with the benefits customers receive drives fulfilment. Indeed all change programmes should carefully consider the motivation of the teams working on them, the fulfilment factors and the team engagement strategy to maximise leverage.

We don’t all need to run ultra-marathons or survive in -80C to win out and achieve our goals, but in the dynamic of achieving excellence for end-customers, business results and teams – planning for high team fulfilment is a key success factor to include.


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