Smarter Faster Better

If you link a task or chore to something you care about, it makes it easier. Make it linked to an emotional decision and people will find a way.

Take this extra step with you staff on big, important, or particularly challenging projects.   Help them SEE (in their mind) something important to them at the end.   Again, something important to THEM.   WIIFM –  Whats In It For Me.   Why is this important to them?

Spell it out for them and help them personify it to them.    THIS is important to the company because X, Y, Z.   That gives us the ability to 1, 2, 3.   Which makes your life better because ______.

This comes from the NLP concept of Anchoring.   If they can envision THEIR goals, and see how doing this task helps them get there, there will be an emotional bridge.  Now it’s BOTH logical (I know I have to do it) and Emotional (I know why I want to do it).    The performance will be way better.

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Results of a 4 yr Google Study on terms. Teams need:
1) To Believe their work is important
2) To feel their works is personally meaningful (see above)
3) Clear goals and defined roles
4) Need to know they can depend on one another
5) Need psychological safety!!  Know that it’s OK to try big ideas or waste a little money without repercussions.

Additional Rules:

  • No interrupting.
  • All team members contribute each meeting.
  • No judgment. Titles and corporate hierarchy takes a back seat unless tie breaking.   If the “higher ranking” member is going to override the team, there is no reason to make the team.   Then it’s just a ‘brain storming’ session.   If you are staffing and hiring right, you should have the best and brightest on the team.   If you don’t have people whose opinions you value and respect, you need to rethink some shit.
  • Call out conflicts and resolve ASAP.

2 Primary Principals
1) Teams are more successful when members feel they can speak up
2) Others show they are sensitive to how each other feels

Another primary driver of general success and productivity:
Having strong mental pictures of what they expect to see.   They ‘see’ in their mind’s eye what the end result should look like.  They have a specific mental picture, tied to emotion, or what SUCCESS is.

They narrate the story with what they expect to say or hear. They visualize their days with more specificity than others do. These are strong “Mental Models”.

We all have them to some degree. Productive People have more robust mental models and day dream about what to expect.

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GE found important to balance immediate SMART goals with longer-term visions. Need SMART and Stretch goals

SMART goals are short to intermediate goals that are set with uniform format.  They need to be

Specific:   Not “increase sales” or “improve X”.    How much, specifically!!!!?  Broken down into increments.  Must be

Measurable:   How else will you know when you are “on track” or “off track”?   Have to determine at least 3, but no more than 6 Key Performance Metrics.   And determine the appropriate intervals for checking.

Achievable:   Have to make them within the real of reason so that everyone can picture it’s success.   Read the above about the people involved building strong mental models of success.   This also makes it easier for them to see the result TO THEM.  WIIFM.   Don’t miss goal one month by 10%, raise goal 10% the next month, miss it and raise it again.   That’s just dumb!!   If they don’t believe the goal is achievable.

If your plan requires people to consistently do more than they have ever done before, you better have some seriously specific and believable plans to have everyone believe that it’s achievable.   “Because I said so” is shit and you suck.

Relevant:   Make them tied to the Key Performance Indicators.  Make sure everyone performing the tasks have buy-in that these are the right actions to get to success.   If the people rowing believe that they should be rowing east – and you tell them to go west – they are not going to row as hard.   The goals and the checkpoints along the way have to be relevant to the job everyone is doing.

Time Sensitive:   There has to be a time based measure.    We need to be HERE by <time>.   Then we have to be HERE by <time>.  To get to SUCCESS by Goal.   If things get off-track, then there has to be specific, relevant, achievable plans to get back on pace.   Or the plan has to change.   “Just do 3x as much better” is not a plan.    If you can’t answer “HOW do we do 50% more in the next stage, than we did last stage” you aren’t doing it right and you need a new plan.   Expecting someone to run a world-record 3rd mile of a marathon, because they fell being pace, is not a realistic expectation.  Regardless of your title or how important the goal is.

GE determined decades ago that each person and each division needs SMART goals.   However they also determined that they must incorporate Stretch Goals.    These are necessary to innovate.   You have to create goals to do find ways to do things that have never been done.

Think Ford vs Tesla.   Tesla had stretch goals.   Amazon started as books only.  They had SMART goals to be THE book seller.   To run book stores out of business.   And they achieved it.   They also had Stretch Goals to sell EVERYTHING ELSE.    And now every other retailer is shaking.

Guess they should have had Stretch goals to make it so people don’t have to come in to their stores.     Yeah, I’m looking at you car dealers…

The organization needs to create big, audacious, scary, unrealistic Stretch goals.   Then try to find ways to get them done.  That how you have ideas that turn into ideas, that create ideas for innovation.   You have to think new thoughts, and have the freedom to try new things, to create new ideas.

New things cannot come from order.   It has to come from Chaos.   Order is how things have always been done.   Those are SMART goals.   To do things that have never been done in your organization, you must think new thoughts and have the freedom and safety to try new things.