Blog

Cape Town is back with another amazing teambuild.

The Murder Mystery concept is a unique and memorable experience, involving interactive roles and conversation among attendees. It’s perfect for team building and humorous entertainment. The event includes all necessary costumes and a knowledgeable facilitator who leads guests through the story. The event is a memorable and memorable experience.
A massive shout out to Cal Cacchio Waterfront for allowing us bring a mystery dinner to your gorgeous venue.

Incredible cocktail-making teambuilding activity.

In Cape Town, our incredible beyond Team hosted an outstanding cocktail-making teambuilding activity. Here, the teams were divided into groups and given guidelines on how to prepare and present a cocktail in a formal way. Each team received a grade from our facilitators based on how well their creation tasted, looked, and treated customers. The choice of which team was the best was challenging for our amazing facilitators. We appreciate everyone’s contributions to this fantastic teambuilding.

“kill yourself laughing.”

It is so hilarious that you might “kill yourself laughing.” The guests discuss the show for weeks after it airs because it is so unique. a distinctive and memorable experience. Highly interactive; you play the parts of the characters to truly become a part of the story, and guests converse with one another to solve the mystery.
Team building benefits greatly from observing your coworkers from a fresh angle. Our solution combines effective, fruitful team-building with amusing entertainment into one package.

 

All of the attendees’ costumes, including wigs, hats, dresses, guns, dazzling jackets, and make-up, are brought to the venue the day of the event along with everything else needed for the spectacle.

 

Beyond teambuilding provided Hirt and Carter H/O with the most delicious potjies

Beyond teambuilding provided Hirt and Carter H/O with the most delicious potjies 😍

 

The teams were provided with their own cooking kits which included all the necessary ingredients and cooking equipment. They were required to cook up a storm and allow the facilitator’s to be the judge and taste their delicious meal 🥘

 

Thank you so much to everyone who joined it was a fantastic team build.

Take your team BEYOND their limits!

When it comes to improving teamwork, defining what improvement looks like and establishing the outcome you’re trying to improve is step one. The team attempting to accomplish something would have to define this clearly and as often as possible to ensure they stay on track in their shared common goals.

Clearly defining shared common goals, understanding how to collaborate most efficiently and how to place individuals in the roles that best fit them is the recipe for team success.

Beyond Teambuilding have the expertise to drive support teams to adopt a spirited competition and a “shared common goal” mindset. We help you to understand the benefits of teamwork, how to build a high-performing team, and learn how to improve teamwork, for real.

We offer formal and informal teambuilding options to cater any teambuilding objective, so contact us now and take your team BEYOND their limits!

Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

Africa Incorporated?

Rated number one company in all aspects and categories on the WORLD STOCK EXCHANGE 2030

 

Please note: All numerics are in African dollars (A$)

 

  • Assets of over 300 trillion A$
  • Annual Profit after tax and community upliftment: A$500 billion
  • GDP Growth of 12% year on year
  • 92% employment
  • 0% poverty

 

Can this really happen?

For those who think every African comment is based on tribalism, racism, pessimism, colonialism, communism …there is only one ism that counts and that’s OPTIMISM.

So, those who see Africa as a place of optimism, this is for you.

Optimism only exists if one can see the light at the end of some chasm, without the light we just get the negativity of dark thoughts and the gut wrench of frustration.

Those who have lived for a long time on this continent, have ALL possibly experienced exasperating thoughts about a variety of popular subject matters ranging from potholes, viruses, political incompetency, corrupt officials, Ebola, HIV, wars, desperate plights, emigration, immigration, hungry eyes, greed, policeonomics, flowing street sewers, failed schemes/cities/countries, plastic bag flowers and senseless deaths. It makes me feel despondent every time I read a paper, look on facebook or watch the news, so guess what we do, watch it even more and now we soon become back room facebookers and eternal pessimists…eish, I hate others’ who perpetually whinge and hate myself every time I go there. Sharing points of view does not necessarily make you a proponent of the message but it does taint you with the message and I have been a culprit of this. We share negativity as if it will somehow change everyone’s actions, but sadly it doesn’t, it just enhances the justification of another “ism”.

Is there a solution, a light that we can actually all see, or don’t we all see light the same?

Bubble bath thinking allows us to switch from the realities of real life to the sanctity of warmth, cleanliness and open free thought. As I came up for a breath, I swished the bubbles and froth from my forehead and a thought of immense optimism hit me.

As a business sort of guy, I have 4 companies that somehow miraculously work and give 40 odd people a meaningful job, allows me to ride my bike in weekends and drink a few ales with mates, provides the Tax Man, the Vat Man and the ANC celebs with a few bucks to fix our roads, educate our children and enhance a country for the benefit of all. I pay several commercial suppliers including Telkom and Eskom and whatever other “koms or cons” are out there, to provide the juice to keep us going. I was even given some BEE brownie points by my Government for educating my black son…wow life is full of amazement.

 But how did all this happen?

Was it a fluke, my heritage, inheritance, skin colour, education, personality, beastly good looks, diet, my tribe, my skills, my mates, my mother, my luck?

This got me thinking and like most businessmen, we tend to look back and start to preach to our staff and especially children about how we made it in those harsh post war days. We all know how this ends up!

The reality of personal or business success comes from the simple ability to have good idea and make sure you implement it properly. Of course, other people (customers) must also believe in and see some value in your grandiose ideas, otherwise it’s just another orbital pie in the sky.

Another learning we mostly have from business is that, the only way to create a bigger success than the one you originally thought of, was to grow an idea or a business exponentially by partnering with other smart people and allowing them to do what they do, better than you. This is the art of skillful delegation/cooperation/collaboration and allows the synergetic momentum to get people to help create a common dream by applying their contributions to the business model.

At this point, as I emerged from the bubbles and thought of Africa and how to turn it into the most successful business in the world. What a challenge, what optimism, what a dream, where is the light?

Let’s look at this quite simply, as any form of complexity tends to irritate me. Let’s break this down and see if this thought hasn’t got some meat attached (sorry vegans, a bit insensitive)

 

What’s the light that we all want to see?

This would seem easy as we see it in every NGOs vision statement and even in most political parties “promise statements”. Let’s try a few of the ones we observe while driving down memory lane….

  • A country where everyone has a valued and meaningful job. Some, however (not all) would get rid of the valued and meaningful jargon and just settle for a good paying job.
  • A country where we have freedom.
  • A country where everyone has education
  • A country where everyone is healthy
  • A country where….yawn, yawn

This is the never-ending list that most African political aspirants subscribe to and sadly most of it is based around western values, especially $$$$$

What is the real light for Africa, the vision that would grab 600 million people to want to be part of anything?

What gets your staff, your friends, your brothers to pitch up every day and give it “horns”…yes $$$$ will be there, but what do they need the $$$$ for?

  • A comfortable place to live, better known as a home
  • A couple of good meals a day
  • A facility where my offspring learn cool things
  • A job where I can express my competencies and be appreciated by earning some $$$
  • Mates that enjoy my company and support me
  • A sports team that wins more than it loses
  • A reliable way of getting around to cool places, visiting mates, getting to work and to watch my team
  • Our country winning some Gold medals at the Olympics and worldly events.

There may be a few more but that’s being greedy and I am a firm believer that if all 600 million could see this as the “light”, there would be a unified approach and effort to get the African Team (600 mill) to respond. As long as a man has a dream, keeps the dream and believes in the dream, he will chase that dream. As an employer, I believe that if your staff has that dream and if you can provide opportunity and facilities to allow that to happen, then most will fight the good fight.

 

MY LIGHT MOMENT

 

I am a firm believer that if you can’t do the job or haven’t got time to do the job or believe someone else could do it better…it’s simple; delegate it to those persons who can do it best.

 

This simple business philosophy fails if you delegate to idiots, but I’m thinking that within the 600 million participants, there has got to be at least 500 million smarter than me, so it shouldn’t be difficult to delegate appropriately on this massive continent.

 

I am however, not stupid enough to fall into the supremacist approach of going into the drama of African failures and disappointments, but let’s look at what causes failure in most businesses and relate this to our African Motherland.

  • Non-existent or poor vision. Without something that excites us we don’t get out of bed and participate. When you cannot see the reason or purpose in something, it becomes a chore, a purgatorial act that irritates sensible and active persons. The current Africa Unincorporated has many “visions” that are probably wish lists or more likened to glorified shopping lists, if the inhabitants lived in a world of “wished for freebies”. You ask most successful CEOs the principle reason why their EXCO Boards are committed and it’s not always about the money, but about what they can achieve or aspire to achieve, that matters most. Companies without a meaningful vision or purpose don’t last, they take the short-term profits and run, no one remembers them for the right reasons and they are like some hyena-like acquaintances you meet in life, they take but never give back.
  • Poor leadership. If the navigation and running of the ship is left to a bunch of “know-all’s”, you’ll hear a lot of theories and excuses, but nothing that actually makes sense. Great leaders know how to communicate their meaning to others and influence the right behaviour. They don’t chop and change, they are humble, clear, committed, sensible and never give up on what’s right.
  • Poor management. The company rots from the head! The best ideas badly managed results in chaotic and spasmodic busts of effort and success. Nothing becomes sustainable, and the company/country has sporadic bursts of wins but mostly embarrassing mishaps. How do we get best management? I suggest get onto Linkedin or whatever and get professionals who know how to attain results from willing resources (mostly people), respected for their integrity and able to know the difference from right and wrong and act on this.
  • Poor systems and processes. Even the most competent management and enthusiastic staff will fail if 1 + 1 always ends up less than 2. Give the population a benchmarked standard operating process to follow, something that easy to understand and work with. Part of the processes is to supply a proper induction and ongoing job-related training. It will be critical to setup practical academies and apprenticeships to supply the population with clarity about the jobs and skills required to participate.
  • Short-term thinking and CYA behavior. When an organization rewards short term gains and not long-term efforts, it creates a culture of “look what I did boss…what do I get for this?” The sad reality is that most MGT are under the whip to give instant results and a good Board should allow a MGT team appropriate time to develop a proper long-term strategy and allow for short term budgeted downside occurrences. This will allow a management team to do what’s right and not what’s popular.
  • A communication process that conveniently shuts out and ignores the majority of the 600 million stakeholders. Ever worked in a company where no matter what you say, no one acts or they just say…”yea, that’s so right” and then drift off? Apathy is one of the most disengaging behaviors that we humans have. Think about your relationship and how important it is to listen properly and actively to your spouse and children and trusted friends…say no more.

So, how does this affect our United Africa, “the wealthiest opportunity yet to be unleashed”.  It is clear that the Africa right now has a lot of questionable leaders and managers, some trying to do a good job but mostly out of their depth, when it comes to dealing with growth strategies and creating adequate returns on assets available.  It is clear that if we don’t invest in a management team of the highest quality to lead and manage all of Africa’s abundant assets and resources, we will eventually (and in some cases, already are) be in liquidation and spend the rest of our African lives groveling around our Western and Eastern “bankers” asking for handouts to survive.

Well, my thinking is based around the simple philosophy that Africa is a company, yes a very big one; it has 600 million employees, dependents, children, learners, complainers, protesters, pensioners, dreamers, entrepreneurs, capitalists, communists, socialists, vagrants and some criminals. They all live and work for the best company every created:

 

Africa Incorporated:

A company where ordinary people live extraordinary lives

 

SHAREHOLDERS:           All Stakeholders living on the African Continent

 

VISION:                                To dominate the WORLD! (sorry this was taken from someone else’s vision)

 

OUR VISION:                     To have all 600 million Africans and our many tourist and business visitors happy, energized and proud of being part of our company and continent (work place).

 

STRATEGY:                        To run Africa as a successful and world leading company, with strong values and a strong desire to deliver on diverse stakeholder expectations.

 

MISSION:                            Run a social welfare-based system for 5-10 years and grow this into a more Market and Green/Sustainable system thereafter. 

GOALS:                    

  • To have 85% employment, the balance will receive socialist benefits to live a respectable life until they can work. (We respect that not everyone can work, but we will ensure they are respected and given an opportunity to actively participate in our country)
  • To have 100% of our children educated and employable
  • To have 100% of our people above the poverty line, every person will have access to 2 meals a day and a place to live with a bed to sleep in and a second set of clothes to wear.
  • To have 85% of our people in their own homes, the rest in subsidized community sponsored homes
  • To have 100% of our people given access to the world’s best health and hospital facilities
  • To have 85% of our population transported to work by efficient public transport
  • To have a carbon friendly transport network that allows all our people to get to work.
  • To have communities being autonomous but not exclusive
  • Police stations that are community help and service centers
  • Prisons that are empty

 

ACTION PLANS

 

Wow…how long have you got?

 

STRUCTURE

  • One United States of Africa (USA…oops!) or Africa Incorporated
  • No borders and free mobility of people.
  • Only residential land can be owned, all other land falls into the capitalized assets of Africa Incorporated (AI ) and fairly distributed according to best use and best user.
  • The assets of Africa are incorporated into AI who then leases these assets out to the respective members of the AI collective (previously known as countries).
  • The leases are auctioned and given for limited periods of time as long as each AI member pays their lease and provides the agreed returns on the assets engaged.
  • Failure to pay for the lease will result in a default procedure and result in a re-auction to another AI team that can best comply with its terms and returns.
  • Define the AI culture by setting up an AI constitution, values, defined work ethic processes, diversity policies, performance evaluation measurements and incentives.
  • Each country must give up its sovereignty and become a member/division/department/contributor of the AI
  • Each member has an internal Management team (elected internally) and the MD and FD each are represented on the main AI Board/Parliament
  • Each AI member is given contributory targets to achieve and contribute to AI
  • Each member will have autonomy with regards to operational processes but must comply with the Constitution of AI
  • Each member has 2 representatives on the Board of AI (MD and FD) and these have to change every 5 years

 

In conclusion, I have not really thought this through in to the deepest depth but, as I am still in the bath and it’s getting cold, I will delegate the deeper thinking and planning to those best trained in such things.

“Over, but not out” 

 

John Ingram

Director of the HiSide Group

john@cpt.teambuild.co.za

Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

MY LIGHT MOMENT

I am a firm believer that if you can’t do the job or haven’t got time to do the job or believe someone else could do it better …it’s simple; delegate it to the person or persons who can do it best.

This simple business philosophy fails if you employ idiots into your business, but I think that within the 600 million there has got to be at least 500 million smarter than me, so it shouldn’t be difficult to delegate on this massive continent.

I am, however, not stupid enough to fall into the supremacist approach of going into the drama of African failures and disappointments, but let’s look at what causes failure in most businesses and relate this to our African Motherland.

  • Non-existent or poor vision. Without something that excites us, we don’t get out of bed and participate. When you cannot see the reason or purpose in something, it becomes a chore, a purgatorial act that irritates sensible persons. The current Africa Unincorporated has many “visions” that are probably wish lists or more likened to shopping lists if the inhabitants lived in a world of wished for freebies. You ask most successful CEOs the principle reason why their EXCO Boards are committed and its not about the money but about what they can achieve or aspire to achieve, that matters most. Companies without a meaningful vision or purpose don’t last, they take the short-term profits and run, no one remembers them and they are like some hyena-like acquaintances you meet in life, they take but never give back.
  • Poor leadership. If the navigation and running of the ship are left to a bunch of “know-all’s”, you’ll hear a lot of theories and excuses, but nothing that actually makes sense. Great leaders know how to communicate their meaning to others and influence the right behaviour. They don’t chop and change; they are humble, clear, and sensible and never give up on what’s right.
  • Poor management. The company rots from the head! The best ideas badly managed results in chaotic and spasmodic bursts of effort and success. Nothing becomes sustainable, and the company/country has sporadic bursts of wins but mostly mishaps deluxe. How do we get the best management? I suggest get onto Linkedin or whatever and get professionals who know how to attain results from willing resources (mostly people), respected for their integrity and able to know the difference from right and wrong and act on this.
  • Poor systems and processes. Even the most competent management and enthusiastic staff will fail if 1 + 1 always ends up lost. Give the population a process to follow, something that is easy to understand.
  • Short-term thinking and CYA behaviour. When an organization rewards short term gains and not long term efforts, it creates a culture of “look what I did boss…what do I get for this?” The sad reality is that most MGT are under the whip to give instant results and a good Board should allow a MGT team appropriate time to develop a proper long term strategy and allow for short term budgeted downside occurrences. This will allow a management team to do what’s right and not what’s popular.
  • A communication process that conveniently shuts out and ignores the majority of the 600 million stakeholders. Ever worked in a company where no matter what you say, no one acts or they just say…” yea that’s so right” and then drift off? It’s one of the most disengaging behaviours that we humans have in not listening. Think about your relationship and how important it is to listen to your spouse and children and trusted friends…say no more.

So, how does this affect our United Africa, “the wealthiest opportunity yet to be unleashed”.  It is clear that Africa right now has a lot of questionable leaders and managers, some trying to do a good job but mostly out of their depth when it comes to dealing with growth strategies and creating adequate returns on assets available.  It is clear that if we don’t invest in a management team of the highest quality to lead and manage all of Africa’s abundant assets and resources, we will eventually (and in most cases we already are) in liquidation and spend the rest of our African lives grovelling around our Western and Eastern “bankers” asking for handouts to survive.

Well, my thinking is based around the simple philosophy that Africa is a company, yes a very big one; it has 600 million employees, dependents, children, learners, complainers, protesters, pensioners, dreamers, entrepreneurs, capitalists, communists, vagrants and some criminals. They all live and work for the best company ever created:

Africa Incorporated: A company where ordinary people live extraordinary lives

SHAREHOLDERS:           All Stakeholders living on the African Continent

VISION:                                To dominate the WORLD! (sorry this was taken from someone else’s vision)

OUR VISION:                     To have all 600 million Africans and our many tourist and business visitors happy, energized and proud of being part of our company and continent (workplace).

STRATEGY:                        To run Africa as a successful and world-leading company, with strong values and a strong desire to deliver on diverse stakeholder expectations.

GOALS:                    

  • To have 85% employment, the balance will receive benefits to live a respectable life until they can work. (We respect that not everyone can work, but we will ensure they are respected and given an opportunity to actively participate in our country)
  • To have 100% of our children educated and employable
  • To have 100% of our people above the poverty line, every person will have access to 2 meals a day and a bed to sleep in and a place to live and a second set of clothes to wear.
  • To have 85% of our people in their own homes, the rest in subsidized community-sponsored homes
  • To have 100% of our people given access to the worlds best health and hospital facilities
  • To have 85% of our population transported to work by efficient public transport
  • To have a carbon-friendly transport network that allows all our people to get to work.
  • To have communities being autonomous but not exclusive
  • Police stations that are community help centres
  • Prisons that are empty

ACTION PLANS

Wow…how long have you got?

STRUCTURE

  • One United States of Africa (USA…oops!) or Africa Incorporated
  • No borders and free mobility of people.
  • Only residential land can be owned, all other land falls into the capitalized assets of Africa Incorporated (AI ) and is distributed according to best use and best user.
  • The assets of Africa are incorporated into AI who then leases these assets out to the respective members of the AI collective (previously known as countries).
  • The leases are auctioned and given for limited periods of time as long as each AI member pays their lease and provides the agreed returns on the assets engaged.
  • Failure to pay for the lease will result in a default procedure and result in a re-auction to another AI team that can best comply with its terms and returns.
  • Define the AI culture by setting up an AI constitution, values, defined work ethic processes, diversity policies, performance evaluation measurements and incentives.
  • Each country must give up its sovereignty and become a member/division/department/contributor of the AI
  • Each member has an internal Management team (elected internally), and the MD and FD each are represented on the main AI Board
  • Each AI member is given contributory targets to achieve and contribute to the AI
  • Each member will have autonomy with regards to operational processes but must comply with the Constitution of AI
  • Each member has two representatives on the Board of AI (MD and FD), and these have to change every five years

In conclusion, I have not really thought this through into the deepest depth but, as I am still in the bath and it’s getting cold, I will delegate the deeper thinking and planning to those best trained in such things.

“Over but not out.” 

John Ingram

Director of the HiSide Group

john@cpt.teambuild.co.za

Curiosity killed the Cat?

We often live in fear of what could be around the corner, or what’s hiding in the unknown. This is mainly based on us wanting to maintain the status quo, especially when its’ not causing problems or it’s the reason why we have our current success. All businesses strive to create some order to have a level of consistency and reliability in what they do. This is mostly based on the Law of Pareto, where we know we can’t excel at everything, so let’s focus on the 20% of things that give us 80% of our success. Many managers are scared to tamper with this for the obvious reasons.

Today with the many disruptions we face in our events markets, we cannot afford to wait for the disruption, we go out and find it before it hits. This brings us to one of our principle values in the HISIDE Group…CURIOSITY.

Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

Curiosity

Noun

1.A strong desire to know or learn something

“filled with curiosity, the HISIDE team stalked the web for international trends.”

2.An unusual or interesting object or fact

“Through its curiosity, the HISIDE Group realised the impact of AI in the RSVP domain.”

 In the past, this fear of the unknown has kept most from being curious. Often it’s a case of not really wanting to know what’s on the other side. It might be expensive, and it might be dangerous; it may mean having to act or do something! This curiosity has to be permitted and encouraged as it’s not for everyone to voluntarily try or do.

For this reason, we have learned to force the issue of curiosity in two ways:

  1. After every event, we complete a compulsory debrief where the good, the bad and the ugly are exposed and discussed. We look at what was planned, communicated, understood and executed. From this, we extract not only what we need to fix but more importantly, what opportunities exist if we do something differently.
  2. The company brainstorm is something everyone looks forward to, as follows unless of course you are not being invited! The process is simple, we take any regular processes or system, and we hypothetically ban its use, which means we have to find another way. This opens the field from the banal to the bizarre. There is no wrong answer; there are only answers which provide us with opportunities.

Most companies or teams will agree, this is a “no brainer”, but why does it not happen as a standard in most companies?

Sadly, the culture of the company is often driven by careful Management who only understand that “Curiosity killed the cat”  whereas we can easily change this age-old quote to be “Curiosity allowed the cat to become a Lion.”

Quick Tips

  1. Allow your team to challenge the status quo by setting up formal times and meetings to do such.
  2. Introduce dysfunction into your business thinking
  3. Acknowledge new ideas
  4. Get rid of the “Yes…But” work vocabulary

John Ingram

Director of the HISIDE Group

Teambuilding or Team Development?

Both phrases are tossed around the market like a grenade with a pin missing. As an organisation that does both, I thought it helpful if I pass on my limited words of wisdom to help others who may not be able to distinguish between the two.

Think of Teambuilding as an activity or exercise that allows the delegates to engage with each other, have a few laughs (usually at the expense of others), and walk away with a feel-good and relaxed demeanor.  Such terms as Survivor, Challenge, Competition, and “the winner is” are often used during such events. On the positive side, these activities allow the team to see another side to their delegates, see how people behave in non-threatening non-hierarchical and non-KPI driven environments. You will often see creativity from admin people, leadership from quite people, problem-solving from those least expected, and decision making from the underbelly of the team.  All good as long as someone takes notice and uses the behavioural upliftment to enhance the team’s ethic. On the negative side, you may often see excesses of everything, including shouting, blaming, confrontation, career “hari-kari” actions and statements, demoralising, blaming, and showmanship of the highest order.  This is usually due to the fact that the behavioural aspects of the event are not being facilitated nor managed.

Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

Hence, Team Development or Teambuilding with a catch. That “catch” involves using the activity to create an outcome that the delegates can learn from. For example, Our Ball Game, a simple event to get the team to pass a ball through the group, progressing from slow to being able to do it faster than the speed of lightning. It starts off slow and ends with a total transformation of energy and input from the team members. It basically follows the Tuckman model, and after the activity, when everyone has finished patting each other on the back and throwing wild “high fives”, the facilitator steps in and says the magic word “WHY?”.

This debrief or review allows the team to reflect on what they were doing and, more importantly, WHY they were doing what they did and WHY they made critical changes in their behaviour. This is the key to team Development and the journey to becoming better at what we do, as everyone gets a chance to reflect and can relate to how they felt along the way.

While I agree, it’s not rocket science, if done well, the benefits of both team building and its upmarket cousin, team development, can make significant changes in the internal development of your team and the individuals within. It’s the journey to becoming a high performance-focused team, moving from average to a world where customers start to brag about their relationship with you.

John Ingram

Director of HISIDE Training

Mindful Management

The following forms some feedback from a 3-hour session with a Management Team whereby we reviewed feedback for a Team Climate Survey and discussed the impact on management and what simple steps we could take to add more value to the role we play as Managers.

Why Management?

We need to understand what is expected of us in a Management role. Management is only required if a team is unable to manage itself. Why is a team unable to manage itself?

  • No clear goals or defined deliverables.
  • No processes to follow.
  • Not trained or enabled to follow processes or do the jobs required.
  • Inconsistent expectations of quality.
  • Uncomfortable working environment.
  • Inappropriate work environment.
  • Unruly or badly-behaved work colleagues.
  • No support or trust.

There are more but these are the things Management needs to ensure are in place, consistently applied and supported. This also defines WHAT Management should be doing.

Beyond Teambuilding pride ourselves in creating events, activities and challenges that push any team past mediocrity, allowing them to express themselves in a way that unleashes a team synergy that is often lying dormant. Our teambuilding is done in two definitive ways; formal and informal. Both have merit and are used to create the specific objectives of your particular team’s needs.

We then went onto the HOW?

For all intents and purposes, text books are full of the HOW to Manage, so I suggest read, read and read some more. We used the feedback from the Survey to look at more specific HOWs.

  1. The survey is a means to allow Management to understand what the concerns of the team are. Most concerns are not real but are perceptions as to what people ‘think” are real. If Management acts proactively, most of the perceptions can be eradicated long before they become problems.
  2. The team does not have one focused concern or even weaknesses, and it appears as if there is an environment of either individualism or “cliques” within the organisation.
  3. Openness in communication will only occur when we create an environment where there is NO FEAR. Staff should not feel that they cannot express their opinion without being belittled or blamed, or speak or report the truth without being “targeted”. This has to start with Management asking for the truth, asking for opinions and actively listening and showing appreciation for such behaviour. When staff sense that such openness is appreciated and will not be punished, it will become a work ethic and become your culture.
  4. We spoke of the Conflict Sandwich as a means of dealing with issues of misguided behaviour, poor or inappropriate performance and differences of opinion. We identify the act or behaviour that we feel does not fit our culture, be very clear of this and don’t mix it with others. Deal with this in a linear mode.
    1. Ask the staff member to meet in a non-threatening area (not opposite your desk where you impose a threat to start with).
    2. Start the conversation with a positive statement about the persons contribution to the company or a compliment to their relationship with you in particular. This will take away the perception that there is going to be a blaming session.
    3. After the appreciation, bring up the issue and explain how it affected you both as a Manager or as a fellow worker. Ensure you give the person a chance to clarify the issue as factual or not. You will not be able to correct a situation if the staff member is in denial about the situation. Once you have this “fact” don’t dwell too long but move straight into the correction.
    4. The correction should not be you telling but should be you asking how you think it could be resolved or fixed. If a person owns the solution, they tend to be more responsible for its implementation.
    5. Don’t leave until you agree, once you do agree, thank the staff member and offer your support.
    6. Follow this up in writing and do a recap soon after to ensure all is corrected.
  1. When identifying anything that doesn’t agree with you, make sure you are not making a mountain out of a mole hill. Check with your peers about how important that issue really is, what is the worst that could happen to you or the organisation, the latter being the more important.
  2. Where possible, invite the full team in to give ideas or find solutions to internal issues. You are merely the catalyst to discussion and ideas, you are however responsible for the implementation and successful role out of agreed processes or initiatives. Always give feedback of the success or not of agreed internal ideas.
  3. TRUST is a problem in all teams as it forms the basis of our ability to delegate and request or give support to others. Without trust we become an organisation of DIY people with no synergies resulting from teamwork or collaboration.
    1. To trust someone, they need to be both smart / competent and reliable. It has to be both because they go hand in hand. It is not good to be someone who is extremely competent to do a job but they don’t bother pitching up or don’t deliver.
    2. How much competency and how reliable will depend on the RISK of failure and the consequences of that failure. As a Manager, you need to apply your thought process to this all the time when delegating work to staff. If not, you will be relying on “blind faith!”
    3. TRUST is not mutual! Just because I trust someone, does not mean they have to trust me. Trust is dependent upon the task or challenge at hand.
    4. To be of value to an organisation, you need to be trusted more and by more. An individual’s worth increases exponentially when they are deemed “the only person I can trust for this!”
    5. If given TRUST, remember it has been earned by being and doing the right things, don’t destroy it by being inconsistent or by having an “off day”. TRUST is very difficult to get back once lost.
    6. A title gives someone an indication as to what they should expect from you. So, if your title is that of MANAGER, revert to WHY MANAGEMENT and ensure you are all these things and more.
  1. Decision making is something Managers and staff are actively involved in every day. The better the decision the more likely the outcome will be favorable. However, in order for a decision to be favorably implemented, it needs others who need time, information, training, motivation and skills to actually do this!
    1. If we delay a decision too long, this places pressure on the implementors. This is unfair.
    2. If we decide too early, the decision may be missing some logic and again could result in a poor outcome.
    3. It is important again to understand the consequences and risks involved in the decision and resultant outcomes as this will guide you in the level of trust you place in the information gathered and the people who need to implement such.
    4. When in doubt just communicate your concerns and await opinions.
  1. Look for telltale signs of “busy for busy sake”. People don’t like looking idle so they can and will fill up the day with stuff that can look good but is often unnecessary and time filling.
    1. As a Manager; get into the habit of engaging staff about their work.
    2. Don’t come across as threatening. E.g. Don’t say “what the hell are you doing?” Rather, “Hi Bill, I sense that what you are doing is pretty important, talk to me about what it is?” As the conversation engages, you can move to discussing WHY we do this specific job? Then move towards asking “Bill, if I asked you to do this job the smartest way possible, how would you change it?” And then you listen and you will be amazed at what transpires.
    3. Sometimes you will be frustrated by “but why didn’t he say that before?” Again, fear of change, fear of upsetting what is perceived as Managements way!
    4. Acknowledge smartness and do it regularly.
  1. Dealing with a person’s worth.
    1. Most people believe they deserve more.
    2. The challenge for a Manager is to give staff that opportunity without destroying their dreams or aspirations.
    3. G. if a person earns R 10 k but thinks they deserve R 20 k per month, firstly ask them why they believe they are not getting the R 20 k. This will either result in a Manager not seeing their worth or having a misperception of their worth. At this stage you do not challenge the reality as this will destroy the productivity of the conversation.
    4. Next discuss what the staff member thinks the Employer would need to see more of to see the value in the R 20 k per month?
    5. Next ask them what steps they think they could introduce to their own work repertoire that would help them become that R 20 k person. Also ask what support or input they would need from others to get to this pinnacle in their career.
    6. Be honest with the staff member in that if there is no need for that R 20 k person in the business, don’t lead them along. Rather ‘cut them loose’ so that they can grow, there is no sense in trying to keep them motivated in a constrained environment.
  1. Turn meetings into open discussions about things more important than just RESULTS and DELIVERABLES.
    1. A Manager is responsible for both Results and the Engagement of its people.
    2. The results are an operational day to day functionality and usually looks after itself.
    3. Be prepared to spend more time discuss how to become more engaged, what stops us being engaged and use these discussions to strengthen your internal culture and work ethics.

There is more, lots more……

John Ingram

Director of Training

HISIDE Group