“Nothing changes if you don’t talk about 'stuff'”!
Who’d have thought such wise words would come from the cast of Geordie Shore. But they did, and they are right. (To be honest, they did use an alternative ‘s’ word – but you get the drift.) In fact, ‘conversation’ could be the critical difference between success and failure when it comes to an organisation achieving the change it seeks.
Talking about ‘stuff’ sounds so simple, yet we know it’s not. Most organisations know they have ‘stuff’ to talk about, but either never get round to it, are too busy to do it, or find it just too hard, so avoid it altogether. These are the mind-sets that every organisation needs to challenge if they really want to achieve their goals.
Conversations count. In fact, conversations are the critical link between people and strategy.
But how many Target Operating Models, Strategic Blueprints, Enterprise Architectures (or whatever fancy name we come up with for the master plan!) include ‘conversation’ as a critical part? For me ‘conversation’ is at the heart of every healthy organisation. It might look like this:
At least that’s the thinking. And don’t get me wrong it’s good thinking. But as a good friend once said:
“The problem with strategy isn’t in the thinking, it’s in the doing!”
Paul Stewart, Author, Branded Customer Service
According to all the best research:
So where are we going wrong? Maybe the answer isn’t as difficult as we might think, and conversation is key. But not just any old conversation, a shaped conversation, with a simple structure that engages, empowers and excites it’s participants in a common cause.
In it’s simplest form, a conversation has 3 key elements:
If we add just one more element, one of agreed action to be taken, we have a powerful mechanism for change.
At On-Brand we call it TeamTalk™ - a structured conversation that involves everyone, in every team, every week, putting time aside (not much – maybe 1%, or 30 minutes a week) to talk about what matters most. What matters most can and should change. It depends on what’s important, and is decided upon at the very top. After all, every team, in every organisation, deserves the right to know what matters most in the eyes of their leaders, so they can work out what role they can play in making things happen.
So how does it work? TeamTalk™ is a system of simple, structured conversations, usually led by the leader of the team. Each TeamTalk has a different theme, and each theme consists of 4 parts:
TeamTalk is the critical conversation that lies at the heart of any strategy. It’s what bridges the gap between logic and emotion, between thinking and doing. It’s the catalyst to sustained organisational improvement.
And what makes the ON-Brand TeamTalk approach work, is the comprehensive process and resources that are employed – each initiative is supported by experienced people, discovery, diagnostics, leader coaching, events and practical tools and resources. These combine to ensure that TeamTalk delivers the mindset and behavioural change you need. Then, with your people connected to your strategy, great things start to happen and an exciting company will emerge.
So, if your teams aren’t talking about what matters most, what are they talking about?