Contextualisation of a guarantee!


Six year-old: what is water made of mummy?- (as the rain battered down on the car)
Me: mmmmm hydrogen and oxygen Lily
Six year old: Will it run out mummy?
Me (after a long pause): Hopefully not Lily!

The quick answer though is I am not sure and I can’t give her any more guarantee than that and to help her to find ways to make sure it doesn’t and for the generations who come after her. All we can do is our best.

What I have learnt and can guarantee though is that if you consistently send the right message and continue to take small or big strides forward you can achieve goals much more readily.

Within KCP we have a strong vision of what the future could look like and the steps- some big and some small- that it will take to get there. Again consistent messaging and sharing the steps always helps when you are building a team.

When you are building a new team or taking a current team to the next level…with a shared vison … it is really important that the right people are on the journey with you.

We have for a long time had a clear internal culture which assumes that Communication and Honesty are brought to the table from all members of our team. Honesty is essential and communication – well everyone has a different take on this but all you need to commit to is to communicate frequently and honestly? We can provide all the other training.

I smiled recently when I looked at all members of our team and thought what a lovely bunch of people.

This was during a two-day training workshop on how to become a high performing team, facilitated by the wonderful Vicky O’Conner- who did put everyone through their paces.

I was reminded of the different phrases that we use to describe a collective of people- a group, a tribe, a huddle, a throng, a mob and my personal favourite a nexus of people! These are all definitions of groups of people by the Macmillan dictionary - nowhere does it refer to a team of people?

Their definition of team is groups playing against each other (in sports) or a group of people who work together (then referred to a management team or a legal team). When searching for high performing team in the Macmillan Dictionary – it returned with… sorry no definition!

As an engineer – words or language are not always my strong point and it is possible that language is actually the biggest barrier to growth of your business depending upon on how your team work?

We have very ambitious growth plans that predominantly require some serious discussions around application of our patent and delivery of a core service that is complementary to our current core service but allows us to move into new sectors, provide services not already catered for and allows international opportunities in both product development as well as service provisions.

We really need to be a high performing team.

And whilst we are a lovely team and a great team and individually strong we need to assess the traits and habits we need to develop to be a high performing team.

Beyond team size, we should consider what complementary skills and attitudes each team member brings to the table.

Do they recognize the improvement opportunities? Do they feel accountable for the entire company’s success, not just their own business area? Do they have the energy to persevere if the going gets tough? Are they good role models?

When senior management ask these questions, they often realise how they’ve allowed themselves to be held hostage by individual stars who aren’t team players, how they’ve become overly inclusive to avoid conflict, or how they’ve been saddled with team members who once were good enough but now don’t make the grade.

We are on this bus - together - and enjoying the start of something pretty exciting!

But to go back to the question my six year-old asked:

It is a sad fact that I can give a better guarantee that we will all work to create a high performing team, than I can to provide her with the assurance that water won’t run out!

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