Sleeping Giant

There are a lot of great ideas out there.  How do you get one to launch you on the fast track?  To accelerate your growth?  Or to take you more securely to where you want to be? To unlock the sleeping giant within your brand.

In hindsight, when we write up these case studies, here is the data, actions, and results into a logical context.  You can simplify the story, leaving out all of the confusion, lack of direction, unclear data, emotions that clouded the reality of living the situation.  However, to get to the end result, isn’t just a case of having great ideas.  It’s about making those ideas come to life and that is rarely easy.

Why?  Surely if there is an inspired idea and an inspired leader, it should just ‘happen’ – a troupe of enthused workers will bind together to make this vision come alive.

The answer is always in “the how” and “the how” is mostly in “the who”.  Let me explain – to make something happen you normally need a team (these things don’t often happen because 1 person does everything themselves).  People, whatever their role or rank, they want to feel like they are worthwhile part of the team.  To feel valued is 80% of the job and oddly to make someone feel valued you have to actually and really value them, which is often not the case.  To value someone you need to know what they are really good at and need that skill, so finding the right team with the right skill set is key, yes.  However, even if you have the best people it can fail, or not work as brilliantly as you imagined if you don’t work in the right way.

I’m not saying that everyone needs a say… I’m the highest advocate of ‘know your role’ within a team.  What I am saying is you need to value the strengths of the individual – recognise that and then make sure everyone knows that for that area, this person should be called upon.  You should call on them and recognise how this person can help you solve part of your problem.  What is interesting about this is that when you implement these positive behaviours of recognising strengths within an inclusive environment, where everyone wins above the individual, it helps to solve problems for the business in a faster or more effective way.

Most of what I do is finding ideas that will unlock the ‘sleeping giant’ and then making it happen.  To do this, you have to work to understand problems or opportunities – and what I have discovered about them is that no one ever has the full picture to come up with the answers.  The first thing I do as an opportunity finder or problem solver, is to conduct ‘fireside chats’.  I meet with core people across functions and levels to talk generally about the business.  I ask their opinions about what works and doesn’t and what they think the biggest opportunity would be to grow faster or better.  This brings the jigsaw puzzle to life and you start to see the obstacles, the ideas.  It rarely comes from one person in particular, but parts of the idea come in different ways from many members of the team.  My role is to unearth it and to find ways to unlock the ideas, overcome the obstacles and bring energy into the team.   Asking the ‘what needs to be true’ question, rather than listing reasons why we can’t.

Clearly I have developed my own tools and methods, but fundamentally the basic principles of Marcus Buckingham and (see the fabulous Margaret Heffernancover my approach.  This recognition and opportunity to expand and grow strengths is not a new idea, but one that is hard for competitive A-types within organisation structures which promote ‘pecking’ behaviours amongst their employees.

I noted with interest recently that this also forms the cornerstone of Hack & Craftworkshops – great to see them bringing this into the foundations of accelerating digital innovations.

First published here by @ToniaOC