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POSTS FILED UNDER "develop-one-team"

10-20-20

A CASE STUDY IN CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION: BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKBerkshire

Note:  This is an excerpt from Dave Ramos' latest book, Drive One Direction.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) is a multinational conglomerate holding company that owns 63 companies, from Acme Brick to the XTRA Corporation. The diversity of industries where they compete includes candy confectionery, retail, railroad, home furnishings, airlines, publishing, manufacturing, real estate, utilities, and more.

This eclectic mix of businesses is held together by One amazing Team.

Warren Buffett met Charlie Munger in 1959.

They have been business partners for six decades and have created billions in corporate and personal wealth.

"We've had so much fun in our partnership over the years," Buffett told CNBC in a joint interview with Munger, who called the partnership "almost hilarious, it's been so much fun."

Munger added they "don't agree totally on everything, and yet we're quite respectful of one another."

Buffett quipped that when they do disagree, Charlie says, “Well, you'll end up agreeing with me because you're smart and I'm right.”

(I tried using this line with my wife, but it did not go over very well!)

Jim Collins made “getting the right people on the bus” part of the business lexicon. But the real issue is aligning all the bus drivers to work as One Team … driving in One Direction. Fragmentation and infighting among the leadership team is one of the most caustic problems an organization can face. Yet, it is far too common.

Teamwork, alignment, and trust start at the top. The organization is never more aligned than the executive team.

But addressing executive team alignment issues will take courage. Skeletons will have to come out of the closet. Dysfunctional interpersonal relationships will need an intervention. People will have to address the conflicts they have been avoiding.

Someone will have to tell the emperor that he—or she—has no clothes.

Unfortunately, most executive teams never really deal with their misalignment issues.

Why? Because executives are afraid to speak their minds. Their need for self-preservation kicks in.

We see this all the time. We can tell that executives are holding something back. We can see their discomfort with the discussion or the decision that is about to be made. Yet, they are afraid to speak up.

Google just did a fascinating study about teams. They concluded that “psychological safety” was a key component of high-performance teams. It is this psychological safety that creates the environment for executive teams to have vigorous and candid debates about the company.

Psychological safety is the prerequisite to candor. And candor is the key to productive debates.

Creating psychological safety starts at the top. CEOs must create an environment where candor is valued, and opinions can be expressed without retribution.

How does your company’s executive team resolve conflict?

10-14-20

A CASE STUDY CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION: ONE CARLYLE

CARLYLE_onecompanyculture

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with over 1,600 professionals operating in 31 offices around the world. They manage over $200B on behalf of over 1,925 investors from 90 countries.

Carlyle unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with their One Carlyle Culture.

At The Carlyle Group, alignment was built into the company by their three founders from Day One.

In fact, the One Carlyle Culture is a key component of how they deliver value to their customers. Glenn Youngkin, Carlyle’s Co-CEO explains it this way, “Our professionals work together across product lines, sectors, and time zones to harness the knowledge, resources, and wisdom in our global operation to help create value for our investors.”

“Carlyle has a culture of cooperation that is genetically embedded in the organization. If you look at our investment teams, we almost always have co-heads, not single heads. It is not a weird thing at Carlyle—in fact, it’s the opposite,” explained Kewsong Lee, Carlyle’s other Co-CEO.

Obviously, this idea also was used when Carlyle appointed Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee as the firm’s Co-CEOs.

The private equity model has many virtues, but one foundational aspect is the alignment of interests.

Since the firm’s inception, Carlyle professionals, Operating Executives, Senior Advisors, and other professionals have committed more than $11 billion of their own money alongside their fund investors. When an investment succeeds, everyone benefits. When an investment fails, everyone loses.

“We constantly work to break down the natural silos that might exist across funds, across countries, and across sectors. In the end, we are only as good as our people,” explained Pete Clare, Carlyle’s Co-Chief Investment Officer. “And we are better when we work together in the spirit of One Carlyle.”

They also use recognition to reinforce their culture. Each year, the firm presents one employee in the world with the One Carlyle award, the highest honor that can be bestowed on an employee.

The Carlyle Group designed a culture of teamwork to deliver extraordinary value for its investors. Clearly, it has worked. The three founders are all billionaires.

Does your company have a One-Company culture?

10-07-20

A CASE STUDY IN CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION: ONE FORD

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKOneford
 
Alan Mulally was the CEO of Ford (NYSE: F) from September 2006 to June 2014.
 
During his tenure, Mulally led a highly successful alignment initiative called ONE FORD.
 
Perhaps more than any other exemplar we studied, the ONE FORD plan embodied the Drive One Direction mindset. That is why it is our first One.
 
Besides, what better way to start the exemplars than with a car company that is driving in One Direction!
 
Mulally’s turnaround of Ford is now legendary. Business “Hall of Fame” legendary.
 
The ONE FORD plan had several components that were so simple that Mulally had them printed on the back of business cards he would hand out. Here’s what they said:
 
ONE TEAM: People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by: Customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction.
 
ONE PLAN: Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix; Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value; Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet; Work together effectively as one team.
 
ONE GOAL: An exciting viable Ford delivering profitable growth for all.
 
In addition, Mulally created sixteen “expected behaviors” that formed the basis of the cultural transformation. (This list is available in my book, Drive One Direction.)
 
Mulally also instituted a new management process known as the Business Plan Review. Every Thursday, Ford’s entire global leadership team was required to attend. This provided a very practical and hands-on way for Mulally to add management discipline to the ONE FORD plan.
 
“The expected behaviors and the Business Plan Review created the culture and management system to align everyone around a compelling vision, a comprehensive strategy, and a relentless implementation plan” said Mulally. “Everyone knew the plan, the status against that plan, and all the areas that needed special attention. Everyone was working together to change the reds to yellows to greens.”
 
In 2014, FORTUNE magazine named Mulally the third best leader in the world, following Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
 
The ONE FORD plan produced amazing results. During Mulally’s tenure, Ford rebounded from a $12.7 billion loss in 2006 to a $6.3 billion pre-tax profit in 2014. The stock price roughly doubled during his 8 years as CEO and rose an astonishing 1,640 percent from the low during the financial crisis.
 
Does your executive team work as One Team?
09-28-20

WINNING TEAMS HAVE IRRATIONAL PERSEVERANCE

 

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKperseveranceWhen I started SHIFTPOINTS, I came across a great quote.  “The defining trait of a successful entrepreneur is… irrational perseverance.”

It is also the defining trait of high-performance executive teams. 

Most companies go through tough times.  The loss of a big customer.  The failure of a new product.  The disruption of their market.

High-performance executive teams come together to persevere through tough times.  They galvanize the company with a compelling new vision.  They energize the company with an intensely focused strategy.  They identify a new source of differentiation and competitive advantage.

And most importantly, high-performance executive teams simply refuse to quit.  They follow the discipline of perseverance. 

SHIFTPOINTS® develops high-performance executive teams - because you can't win without one.

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09-14-20

WINNING TEAMS HAVE A CULTURE OF CANDOR

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKcandorEvery executive team has discussions.

Unfortunately, most discussions never really get to the heart of the issue.

Why?  Because executives are afraid to speak their minds.  Their need for self-preservation kicks in.  They decide that telling the emperor that they have no clothes would be a career limiting move.

We see this all the time.  We can tell that executives are “holding something back.”  We can see their discomfort with the discussion or the decision that is about to be made.  Yet, they are afraid to speak up.

Google did a fascinating study about teams.  They concluded that “psychological safety” was a key component of high-performance teams.  It is this psychological safety that creates the environment for executive teams to have vigorous and candid debates about the company.

Psychological safety is the prerequisite to candor.  And the discipline of candor is the key to productive debates.

Creating psychological safety starts at the top.  CEOs must create an environment where candor is valued and opinions can be expressed without retribution.

Many CEOs struggle with this.  Having an outside consultant – such as a SHIFTPOINTS strategy coach – can help.

SHIFTPOINTS® develops high-performance executive teams - because you can't win without one.

Click me

09-07-20

WINNING TEAMS WORK AS ONE

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKworkasoneIn theory, every executive team is a team.

But in reality, most executive teams struggle with the discipline of teamwork.

There are many reasons for this. Executive teams have unique dynamics that make them unlike any other team in the organization. (More on this in the weeks to come.) Most function like a golf team, where everyone is playing their own individual game.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams operate more like a basketball team. They have a high degree of interdependency. They model unselfishness and demonstrate a “we before me” attitude.

You don’t develop this kind of teamwork by sitting in a conference room presenting PowerPoint slides to each other. You must spend time as a team working together to solve your company’s most pressing problems. You must also take time celebrate your company’s biggest victories.

A few Check Points for your consideration:

  • Does your executive team have a strong foundation of trust?
  • How much of executive compensation is based on overall corporate performance?
  • Are you tolerating any executive behaviors that undermine teamwork?

SHIFTPOINTS® develops high-performance executive teams - because you can't win without one.

Click me
08-31-20

WINNING TEAMS ARE COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKexcellence-1

Every executive performs.

But most executive teams have at least one member who is not meeting expectations.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams optimize the performance of every member of the team.

This starts with high – and continuously elevating – expectations of performance. High-performance executive teams are constantly raising the bar.

They set high targets and challenge each other to get better.

Thus, every executive must commit to both individual excellence and continuous improvement. (I’m astonished by how many reach the executive level and then stop growing and learning.)

In addition, as companies grow and evolve, the executive team must also grow and evolve to embody the discipline of excellence. 

Sports teams are great examples of the relentless quest for excellence. They trade for players who can upgrade the team. They are constantly evaluating performance. Raising the bar is just part of the process.

Here are a few Check Points for your consideration:

  • Is every executive on the team really performing up to your standards?
  • Does your executive team have a culture of challenging each other to “raise the bar?”
  • What are you doing to help each executive develop their professional skills?

SHIFTPOINTS® develops high-performance executive teams - because you can't win without one.

08-26-20

WINNING TEAMS ARE EXECUTIVE GRADE

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKexecutivegradeGMC Trucks has a slogan, “We are professional grade.”  (A great brand position, by the way.)

High-performance organizations are led by people who are “executive grade.” 

These executives demonstrate a rare mix of skills, abilities, and behaviors.  Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Executive-grade results.  First and foremost, executives deliver executive-grade results.  They sign up for “the big number” and then build organizations to deliver it.  They earn the organization’s respect … not because of their position, but because of their results.
  1. Executive-grade strategic thinking.  It has been said that, “leaders are readers.”  Executive-grade strategic thinking is driven by continuous learning, reading, seminars, etc.  The best executives are humble enough to know that they don’t know everything … and that humility fuels their quest for knowledge.
  1. Executive-grade perspective.  Executives have a breadth of perspective that extends beyond their departmental responsibility.  They understand the interdependencies of all elements of the organization, and understand that the needs of the organization supersede the needs of their own department.
  1. Executive-grade expertise.  Executives have functional expertise developed at the highest level.  They are truly one of the best-in-the-world at their function.  This deep expertise allows them to recruit top talent for their departments … because the best want to work for the best.
  1. Executive-grade communications.  Executives are polished communicators.  They know what to say, and how to say it.  They have a mastery of language which allows them to paint compelling word-pictures to inspire followers to charge the hill. 
  1. Executive-grade energy.  Being an executive is not a 40 hour / week job.  Executives must set the example, working long and hard.  They must attend social functions on nights and weekends.  They travel, often extensively.  Therefore, they must have high energy levels and a “big tank.”
  1. Executive-grade decorum.  Executives realize that they are always “on-stage.”  Therefore, they conduct themselves with decorum.  They dress appropriately.  They use appropriate language.  They only discuss things that are appropriate … with the appropriate people. 
  1. Executive-grade networking.  Executives build relationships with other senior executives.  They have a unique ability to connect and leverage those connections to create value for their organizations.  This deep, executive-grade rolodex is one of their greatest assets.
  1. Executive-grade decision making.  Executives are forced to make tough decisions.  In fact, if the decision is easy, it probably should have been made by someone lower in the organization.  To make the tough decisions, executives apply wisdom to gather information, evaluate the options, and make the call.
  1. Executive-grade development.  Executives must be developers of people.  They must have an innate ability to spot talent and potential in others, and then invest themselves in helping people develop to the maximum of their potential.  Often, they see developing people as their greatest achievement.

To win, your organization must develop leaders who are truly “executive grade.”

The Develop One Team module is a key component of many Pit Stop Programs.

08-17-20

WINNING TEAMS HAVE EXECUTIVES WITH A UNIQUE PURPOSE

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORKpurposeEvery team has a purpose. 
 
But most executive teams have never taken the time to clarify what theirs is.

In contrast, high-performance executive teams have a clear – and unique – sense of the discipline of purpose.
 
This seems like it should be obvious, but there are many different kinds of executive teams.  In the same way that each company should have a unique purpose, the executive team running that company should have a unique purpose as well.  (A church’s executive team has a very different purpose than a construction company’s executive team.)
 
To clarify your executive team’s unique purpose, consider three factors: decisions, outputs, and outcomes.
 
Decisions are the unique things that your executives decide as a team.  (Like approve bonuses.)  In some companies, this list is actually quite small, since most of the decisions are made by individual executives without bringing the issue to the entire executive team.
 
Outputs are the unique deliverables produced by your executives as a team.  These include things like corporate strategy documents, annual budgets, or organizational goals. 
 
Outcomes are the unique results that your executive team is responsible for as a team.  These include things like financial results or employee engagement.

Once you know your executive team’s unique purpose, you can design the team to accomplish it.

SHIFTPOINTS® helps companies unleash the accelerating power of alignment.  Because alignment is the ultimate competitive advantage.

08-10-20

WINNING TEAMS HAVE EXECUTIVES WITH EXCELLENT VISION

LinkedIn-Post_TEAMWORK_winningvisionEvery company has a vision.

But most of them are pretty blurry.

Only 35 percent of adults have 20/20 vision, and an even smaller percentage of companies do.

Most companies suffer from some sort of vision disorder, such as myopia—where they can’t focus on the long-term, or tunnel vision—where they get blindsided by market shifts and discontinuities.

Worse yet, according to Achievers’ 2015 North America Workforce report, a whopping 60 percent of employees did not know their company’s vision.

Fast-lane companies create alignment by having just One Vision. After all, how can you create One Company when every division has a different vision?

While it is critical to have One Vision, there are many ways to articulate one. In fact, we discovered four common ways:

  • The “visionary” vision
  • The “inspiring” vision
  • The “company ambition” vision
  • The “Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)” vision

In fast-lane companies, the process of defining the vision is as important as the vision itself. They use a collaborative process that combines top-down aspirations with bottom-up forecasts.

Assumptions are debated. Competitors are studied. Trends are extrapolated.

Of course, smart companies do a gut check before launching the vision. They understand what it will really take to turn the vision into reality. They have “counted the costs.”

There is nothing more demoralizing to a company than a unilateral, top-down vision that is more of a delusional pipe-dream than a vision.

And finally, high-performers make the case for the vision. Every executive—not just the CEO—can passionately articulate the vision and can explain why this is your vision.

Of all the visions you could have chosen, why did you select this One? If you can’t answer that question, no one will buy in.

Our Pit Stop Program provides a timely and efficient way to reconsider these questions.  Find out more.

Note:  This is an excerpt from my latest book,Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Vision chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on One Vision.