Here is a story with one of the clients I worked with:
Pierre was the head of the leadership team for a French luxury brand, and a client. He had a great leadership team. They worked hard and played hard. They drank the best French wines together, and after their monthly leadership-team meetings would dine at restaurants that were gastronomic delights. The team enjoyed lots of friendly banter and got along well. Team members had mutual respect for the enormous talent on the team.
By all accounts, a High Performance Team? Think again. Pierre confessed that despite the stimulating team ambiance, they were ineffective. During their monthly meetings, presentations and discussions would drone on, and often important decisions were hastily made at the end of meetings. I sat in on one of their meetings, and Pierre was right; there was a lack of structure, and although the team felt good together, the lengthy discussion around topics meant the agenda was never more than half covered.
With Pierre’s team we had a singular focus; institute effective meeting and decision-making. We reviewed and committed to meeting best practices. It represented a significant change and a new meeting discipline was required for the team. However with the meeting roles clearly delineated they were able to keep the meetings on track and efficiency improved dramatically; they were even able to reduce the monthly full day meetings to half day, without losing any critical decision making. Ultimately this luxury brand’s leadership team transformed their meetings, leading to a more rewarding, productive and positive environment.
Douglas Gerber is Founder and CEO of Focus One, a consulting firm that helps leaders create High Performance Teams. After 23 years as a corporate executive, he developed a reputation for building successful teams. Later, as a consultant, he has personally worked with leaders from over 70 companies to develop their own winning Teams. Drawing from his own extensive background and 10 years of research, Douglas innovated the concept of “Team Quotient” (TQ). He is a thought leader in the area of team transformation. Learn more about Douglas and his upcoming book Team Quotient: How to Build High Performance Leadership Teams that Win Every Time on www.douglasgerber.com