This is the fourth episode in a 7 part mini-series focusing on how to successfully take over a new team. Your focus in taking over a new team is to successfully build relationships, trust, to then get traction in the business. Today’s episode is centered around the idea of turning insights into action.
Yesterday you created a plan on how you were going to ask your team four critical questions. Today, we are going to walk through why those questions matter, what you will do with that information once you have it back, and how you will present it back to the team. So let’s go through the questions.
1. What needs to change: This is important because it’s going to tell you several things. First, it’s going to help you understand what might be truly broken in the business. Instead of having to wait 3-6 months to figure that out on your own, you created a shortcut.
The other perspective the answers to this question gives you is what actually needs to change relative to your team’s mindset. Maybe they are asking for changes to aspects of the business that cannot change due to legal, regulatory, or compliance reasons. You will have to educate them on those pieces in order to help them accept the process for what it is.
To use this information, create a document with 2 columns, one column is titled “change needed” the other column is titled “mindset change needed.” Take all of the answers and put them in the correct column. You will then need to prioritize these lists so you know where you are going to take action. You’re not going to start with the “mindset” list right out of the gate, not usually. You do need to pick a few of the “change needed” items because this is where you will start first with your team.
2. What needs to stay the same: This helps you understand what your team is fearful you are going to change. Learn what they want to keep so you can assure them that not everything they love about their job is going to change. Beyond allowing you to be supportive, this helps you understand what will really affect them if you do make a change to something they want to keep. (Not to mention this also helps you understand if they like shortcuts or policy violations you need to correct.) Take the time to review what they have shared and pick a few things you can definitely say you will not change.
3. What do you need my help with or support on: This is information you will use in your touch bases with them. It will guide your individual discussions. If there are 2 or more people saying the same thing, bring it up in your recap meeting.
4. What is one thing you are proud of your team for right now: Collect this so you can celebrate and appreciate it. Additionally, if they are proud of the wrong thing, you can address that one on one and get them on the right path quickly.
Once you have assessed the answers, go back and share the details with the team. Schedule the follow-up meeting for no later than one week after the deadline you gave them.
In that meeting you are going to tell them: the first few things you will work together to change, the few things you commit to keeping the same, acknowledge what you will support them on in their touch bases, and provide praise and appreciation for what they are proud of.
What did you achieve here? Instead of waiting to get the team aligned around a common mission that you had to create after being in the role 6 months, you did it in 2 weeks. Not only that, you made the team feel heard, you had them be part of the planning, and everything you do now is because of them. They get the credit, everyone gets the results!
Take time to think through all of this and create your execution plan.