February 1, 2018
Out slewing windmills
During a recent trip through rural America, I came upon a windmill farm. There were numerous windmills for miles in each direction. The weather that day as you can see from the photo was clear and not overly gusty. The wind was just a gentle continuous flow of activity.
In doing a little research on the area, this particular wind farm generates about enough electrical power to support some 15,000 homes and businesses in the area. Not too bad for a renewable source of energy. Now there are multiple sides to the windmill farms popping up in rural America but I’m not going to get into that debate or discussion.
These windmills were all working in unison for a common single purpose. They were capturing the action of the wind and turning it into a useful resource for the community.
This got me to thinking about small business teams all working with the same common purpose. Collectively putting their best efforts forth for the common good of the business and ultimately the consumers they provide goods or services to.
For machinery, getting these windmills to work together and produce electricity is fairly straightforward. On the other hand, getting people on teams and having them orchestrate collectively is quite a bit more challenging. With people, attitudes, behaviors, skills, and baggage come with each of them to the team and company. It is the masterful conductor of the people who can understand how all of them fit together to create beautiful music or just plain old results.
Like in Don Quixote and his fighting of windmills, as business owners, you too can sometimes fight imaginary enemies right inside your organization. Generally speaking, your employees work and want to contribute to the success of the business. In turn, they are compensated and are treated with a good environment, benefits, perks and the like. The hidden enemies come when these expectations begin or have broken down. These soft hidden expenses come in the form of high turnover, lots of paid time off (PTO) for sick days and many other indirect activities which reduce performance.
This week, examine your team. Look at which resources might be windmills, just simply spinning around and around and not contributing to the company purpose and goals. These resources, rather than producing value and delivering results are just putting in time. It sounds harsh, but if there are reasons the team member is not able to contribute then those need fixing. If the team member is just out of place and does not fit into your company’s success culture, then maybe it is time for both parties to separate their ways. This would be valuable to all concerned.
Wondering how to objectively look at your team? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to arrange for a complimentary initial conversation on taking your team to the next level.
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