December 19, 2014

5 Strategies to Ignite Momentum On Your Team

Over the last year, I have heard from the leaders I coach that they just don’t feel like their teams are moving…that their teams once had momentum, and now it’s gone.

Momentum is the impetus of mass in motion.  A business or team that is on an unstoppable success track is said to have great momentum.  Teams that are stuck, not moving, are said to have a low level of momentum.

While the economy is certainly a factor, there are other factors that can get in the way of momentum.  To help your clients get moving again, I would like to share with you five strategies that you can offer up to your leaders as ideas on how to ignite or re-ignite the momentum on their teams.

  1. Gather your team for a “fix it up” day.   In every day life, most humans become accustomed to seeing chipped paint, burned out light bulbs or papers piling up.  As a matter of fact, people can often become so accustomed to looking at broken or messy items in the workplace that they simply don’t see it!  Gather your team, and ask them to go to their individual departments and come back with a list of things that need to be repaired, ditched or completely replaced.  From there, put your team in work pairs, and send them off to fix, declutter or ditch anything that is not working.  At the end of the day, your team is going to be excited, because they have probably fixed over 100 things that needed attention, and it will be time to celebrate!  The lesson here is this:  By working on 10-12 new things every day, great things can happen on your team.  Casting a huge vision is needed, but it can often seem and feel very overwhelming, but by challenging your team members to make 10 small improvements every day, this can lead to huge changes over time.
  2. Unlearn!  Too often in today’s business world, C-level leaders have learned a great deal of information that is no longer relevant.  So, it’ tsime to unlearn the old and bring in the new.  This sounds simple, but it is not as easy as it sounds.  Our brains are hardwired to think a certain way and to operate in a particular fashion from years and years of learning and experience.  Today’s world is what I call an “instant cooking” world.  Everything is instant, changing and evolving.  If you are using old information to lead in today’s world, your company is more than likely lagging way behind.  To start this process, simply write out everything you know about leading your team or department, and ask yourself “Is this knowledge still relevant?”  If not, then what new knowledge do you need to learn to get your team or department moving again?
  3. Start being disruptive.  Too often, leaders and teams get stuck in a rut, and they keep going around and around old issues that are dying on the vine.  When that happens, it is then time to stir things up and break the coherency of the patterns you have developed.  If you want to see how other companies are being disruptive, visit http://dailydisruption.com . You will be able to see how both established and new start up companies are taking their companies to the edge by shaking things up, making noise and making way for new ideas to breathe enthusiasm into the team.
  4. Get the right talent on your team.  You may currently have a very competent group of leaders on your team, and you suddenly feel like you are walking in quicksand.  It may be that the current executive team does not have the skills for the next phase of growth for your business.  It may be time to look both inside and outside of your team for talent that will breathe an entrepreneurial or technical form of inspiration into the way you do things.   Don’t assume that your current leadership team has the right skills for your next growth phase .  While they MAY be able to be trained up, there is more than likely someone inside or outside your company who already has the skill set you need.  They could walk right in and with about two days of orientation to what you are up to, they will be off and running with your next project.  You will save yourself a great deal of time and money by making sure you have the right talent on your team for the current project on your desk.
  5. Be coachable and share your coaching with others.  There are literally tens of thousands of coaches out there, and most coaches are pretty darn good at what they do.  The biggest challenge I see is that when leaders hire a coach, they often keep this a secret from their team members.   This is a huge mistake.  With leadership coaching, where the rubber meets the road is in your willingness to practice and share what you are learning with your team members.  Otherwise, you are just sitting on the phone or in a room with a coach having a nice chat.  By being open with others about what you are learning, and applying it in real time, the coaching you are receiving will take on a brand new meaning, and everyone gets to benefit from your newfound knowledge.
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