Team Activities For Creating Explosive Growth!

explosive-growthWhen a small business comes to us and wants coaching and consulting, we always start them out with vision casting. Too many businesses work on the impending daily challenges, and fail to prepare for the future. It is our job to help them simply slow down and think about where they are at, from a 10,000-foot view. We do this by going through a set of activities that brings clarity to each team member. These activities also lead into the documents that we will be creating for our business process. (On a side note, we charge thousands of dollars to come into a business and do this, so I would consider it “gold.”)

Activity #1: The HiSTORY

The very first thing that we do when we sit down with a business owner or a board is to get to know the business. They tell us how it all started, the story behind the motivation (the why), and how they have gotten to where they are today. This not only helps us to get a better idea of who they are and what they stand for, but it often gives clients clarity on what, why, and how they are doing things. It gives them a sense of pride as well as a newfound motivation and passion to “finish what they started.” Before we get into the next activity, I encourage you to start with this.

Activity#2: The Four Helpfuls

The next activity that we work through with business owners and boards is called “The Four Helpfuls.” This activity is usually the most eye-opening activity a business has ever done, and it helps bring extreme clarity and breakthroughs in a short amount of time. The idea of this exercise is to bring to light things that are working and things that are not working in your business. The reason that it brings clarity is because it helps you to organize your thoughts on paper, and it brings to light competing thoughts from teammates.
For example, you may think that brand awareness is great, but someone on your team may bring it up as something that is “wrong” and needs to be fixed. You will quickly find that you are not thinking the exact same way as your partner or employee, and these differences in thoughts/opinions can deter a company when there is little to no awareness.
The exercise will take anywhere from 45-90 minutes, so don’t rush through it and ensure that you have enough time to talk through these important topics and issues. This can either be done for the whole company, or it can be broken up into departments if you are a part of a larger organization.

The Process:

1. Draw five columns on a Post-It Big Pad or a large white board.
2. Label the five columns: “Right,” “Wrong,” “Missing,” “Confused,” and “Core Issues.”
3. Allow team members to begin to populate the first four columns with their ideas of what is right, wrong, missing, and confused in the organization as a whole or the individual department that you are discussing.
4. Come to an agreement as a team as to what the top three issues/needs are at the moment, and mark these on the board.
5. Once you are finished discussing these four areas, begin to fill in the “Core Issues” column. These should be issues that arose from walking through the other four columns, and can be similar to the three issues that you decided on in the previous step.

4-helpfuls

 

Although numbers four and five in the previous process could be the same, they will not always be. In number four, you want to highlight impending issues, essentially what to work on in your organization next. In number five, these are deeper issues that are casing a lot of the thoughts from the wrong, missing, and confused boxes. These issues generally take longer periods of time to fix, and require a lot of energy and willpower to do so.

Where to go next?

The most valuable benefit from this exercise is simply clarity within the team. You now know what is going on in their heads and are aware of problems that you have never seen or thought of.
The next steps will be to coordinate action on the impending issues and needs. Put the most qualified person in charge of each of the three items that the team chose, and create follow-up meetings with them to check on progress. You will also need to create action items for the core issues, and most of these will fall on to you, the owner. If they do fall on you, create deadlines for yourself and put someone in charge of keeping you accountable to these deadlines, even if they are just updates. If you are open to constructive criticism and openness about your business, then prepare for some awesome breakthroughs that lead to explosive growth!
In the next post I will be going over the rest of the activities that prepare you to create your first document, the Strategic Objective, so stay tuned!

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