A plan is essential, and enterprises with complex, intricate workflows have rigorous structures in place to deliver hundreds of goals. However, a rigid plan with too much rigor can become an organization’s downfall.
One of the most common problems we see in individuals’ and teams’ execution strategies is the lack of engagement and initiative. This leads to a discussion about trust.
We’ve already explored the impacts of flexible goal setting to fuel autonomous creativity and discipline, a workflow that is only attainable with better engagement.
Without trust, engagement topples, and with poor engagement, problems are not noticed nor solved to the team’s full capacity in a given environment.
Given some years of life experience, we all have an idea about what trust looks like in a relationship. Trust is more or less the same in a larger human structure if we project our understanding of 'healthy' trust dynamics and expected actions onto a collective.
3 Practical Presets To Bestow Trust In Teams
As per our diagnosis of some common organizational blind spots, here are three essential, practical methods to create a trusting environment where creative autonomy and discipline can take place.
With diligent planning, the following methods shine a light on the most significant setbacks, giving upper management a clear starting point to improve the human architecture of a team.
#1 - Find and Eliminate Actions That Waste Resources
The first phase of ACM’s ‘Engage and Trust’ workshop is a diagnostic technique that sets the playing field for resource re-distribution. If ten men plan to build a house in six months and the client shortens the deadline, the time and energy between those men need to be re-arranged to suit the new working parameters.
Conceptually, we see the same problem in larger team projects and individual assignments. As companies constantly try and increase the range between bottom-line and top-line performance, time is the first and most valuable retracted resource.
So, what do we do when we have less time to deliver a goal with a plan? We hope for the best and stick to the initial plan, regardless of the resources we no longer have. Inevitably, this results in delay and unmet needs.
Or, we take a step back and perform a detailed evaluation of what we DO have, and what we do with them. We perform a well-balanced qualitative and quantitative evaluation to determine the overall quality of actions with a focus on efficacy and efficiency. We get a clear bird’s eye view of the weakest habits.
This data, combined with continuous assessment, is the first instruction in the recipe to cook up an effective resource re-distribution strategy. One that can actually be executed.
#2 - Reallocate Resources for Better Resource Management
What? Spend scarce resources to improve the management of already scarce resources?
Yes, working backward is often the way to move ahead -- a change management concept already familiar to those who read our introduction 'The Problem: A Linear Top-Down Model' in our first article.
Here’s a practical, visual example to see it in action.
Suzy and her analyst gather data from her team of project managers. The data clearly shows which aspects of the organization’s goals and workflows the team is disconnected from. Suzy now has the information to spot where these fundamental incongruences manifest as inefficient actions down the line.
Now, Suzy has a list of actions we can call resource-black-holes, ones that she can justify with real-time financial data to her board of supervisors when proposing the necessary changes. Changes that focus on more effective resource management among the team of project managers, whether that’s a simple re-mapping of an existing, dated workflow, a new software integration, or the creation of a new recipe for the chocolate chip cookie dough base.
The actions are redirected, resources saved, and bottom-line numbers greatly reduced.
#3 - Reallocate Efforts to Improve Customer Engagement
The most expensive, lowest-performing habits have been addressed with the intent of better resource management and bottom-line reduction. A third and final stage of our process, the ‘Engagement and Trust’ cycle, is ready to integrate.
Our ten men have new tools that can perform heavy, time-intensive physical work in a fraction of the time compared to complete manual labour. Now they need a plan to use those tools as effectively as possible to satisfy the client. To build the dream home, get paid, perhaps a bonus, and a glowing recommendation that brings further work and growth.
When focusing on better customer engagement with top-line growth at the forefront, the formula for planning is simple:
Least Effort + Desired Outcome (+ exceed) = Satisfied Customer
There’s no data needed to verify this. Instead, what’s needed is a keen set of deconstructive eyes to architect a novel plan. One that operates with the least effort to exceed a client’s desired outcome.
Say, Michael is responsible for a team of project managers in charge of product delivery. If the organization’s communications are half-decent, Michael will already be aware of Suzy’s newly collected data and corresponding actions. Then, he is able to analyze Suzy’s data to gain insight into the new resource distribution strategy and circulate a survey around his team.
Cross-department and cross-project collaborations are key when proposing new delivery strategies since they paint a wholesome picture. A pressured board that often lacks an open mind to change will appreciate and respond to such efforts.
Where Does Trust Come In?
In order for any active change to take place, trust is needed to find defects. Again, trust is essential to envisage a new solution, plan it, create several proposals, and to collaborate with one another from various teams.
Trust among the individual leaders of an organization allows well-formulated plans to be pitch-ready, which naturally heightens the chance of appeal when presented. After all, coming forward with a solution and a problem is far more resource-efficient than the old-fashioned obstacle ping-pong.