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You probably recognise this: the direction of your company has been carefully considered by the management and MT. A new dot on the horizon gives clarity about where you want to go together; a renewed strategy makes your organisation future-proof in the long term. Now it is important to get started with this new strategy. How do you get people on board? And above all, how do you keep focus on the goal you want to achieve? 

Ideally, you have already involved the organisation in the creation of the strategy. We assume you have also created (or will create) a moment where you present it internally. To bring the employees along and get the energy flowing in your organisation that you need for what you want to achieve.

But then? How do you sustain that energy? How do you get people to work on what you want to achieve?

The issue with a new strategy or new dot on the horizon is often that employees or teams do not immediately know what it means for them. Moreover, you see that if imposed objectives do not directly touch their daily work, those objectives gradually fade into the background. They get snowed under, because no structural attention is paid to them and other things (‘daily worries’) take priority. 

Getting teams to do it themselves

One of the practical methods you can employ to prevent this – and which we describe in this article – is team coaching. This involves employees in one or more teams working on (1) making the goals concrete and pursuing them, and (2) improving their mutual cooperation for achieving the goals.

By working with and within the team on both the hard side of cooperation (the goals set) and the soft side of cooperation (what do we need as a team to work together to achieve those goals), achieving the goals will ultimately be faster and the results more sustainable.

What does it mean for me?

Such a team process always starts with the question: how can you as a team in your work give substance to the business objective? What short-term and long-term goals fit into this? By not imposing this on the team, but letting them determine it themselves, they keep a grip on their work. They themselves translate the company objective into what this means for their own team or department.

By combining this with asking (1) what kind of team they want (or need) to be to achieve those objectives and (2) what kind of team they are now, you simultaneously work on the conditions needed to get there.

Attention to cooperation

We always do the latter ourselves based on measurements. Perhaps the team comes to the conclusion together that they need to be innovative, need to be able to make quick decisions or need mutual trust. By using a baseline measurement to show how they currently score on such aspects, they know what they need to work on to get to that team they would like to be (and need to achieve the objectives).

Lay the foundation first, then do it

Laying that foundation is important; it is the foundation on which the team can then build. We usually meet with teams four times to set clear goals and create a clear picture of what they want to work on in the collaboration.

Then the realisation time starts, the actual thinking and execution of the actions needed to achieve the goals. By breaking down larger goals into smaller, more quickly achievable ones, the team together continues to make continuous progress, achieve results and keep energy and motivation high.

Finding a cadence

Very important in such a team process is to persevere and meet at set times to work on the objectives and cooperation. Clear team agreements and shared responsibilities underlie this (‘every fortnight at this fixed time we meet and we agree: it always goes on’).

External guidance is also a factor in keeping rhythm and progress. If you control that yourself and everyone is busy, the threshold for putting things off is lower. External guidance provides a stick to keep going. Important, because otherwise it is a waste of all the investments in time and money you have already made.

Achieving success gives energy

The beauty of our experiences with this: if you persevere, you release a lot of energy. Teams get a grip on their work, achieve their goals together and enjoy what they do. They are building their future and that of the company. That gives satisfaction.

What is also striking: valuable untapped potential emerges. Teams become more innovative, productive and creative, and because they talk enthusiastically about what they are doing, new internal and external connections arise.

Focus and agility

It is never a process of just jubilant moments, there are always ups and downs. That is why it is so important to persevere, to reflect on your achievements in between and to maintain focus and flexibility. Then you will achieve what you have in mind together.

This article was created in collaboration with Inge Sijpkens. Together, we help organisations set themselves up sustainably (future-oriented) and advise and guide in the change processes involved. Want to know more about our approach? Contact me, we would be happy to tell you more.