Conversations at the Intersection of PR, Traditional & New Media

Book Review – Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times

Predictable-Results-in-Unpredictable-TimesThis book is an eye opener for everyone in the leadership positions, things that are assumed to the right way of leading the teams has been challenged and framework is being given to build strong team which performs consistently and delivers predictable results even in unpredictable times. All the Marketing Heads, PR leaders, Sales Heads or for that matter anyone who leads a team – this book is a must read for you. Even if you are not one of the regular literary readers and rarely have time for a relaxed read, still I think you should consider reading this book as its not even 100 pages and you are not expected to read more than a chapter a day.

Often leaders spend very less time in mentoring, motivating, and assisting their teams in achieving the goals set by them or their company. This is true even in our business as well. Top management decide on goals and are communicated to only top rung executives only – in agencies as well as in a corporate setups. Executives down the line, have job as usual i.e. to chase media coverage.

The book emphasises the power of teamwork through the example of the Tour de France, where cyclists test their endurance. The authors Late Stephen R. Covey and Bob Whitman, chairman of FranklinCovey, capture four key principles for getting great performance in good times and bad. They point out that the best teams are those in which every member has a well-defined role and is part of the winning strategy, whereas teams that have brilliant individuals but no coordination inevitably fall behind. It explores what differentiates truly top performers and how those differences can be brought into the performance of other team members. Building trust and engaging with fear are also strategies projected as being crucial for companies to grow collectively.

1)      Execute priorities with excellence – The winning organisations have “simple goals repeatedly revisited, together with clear targets and strong follow-through, including the measurement of results.” As with any great team, all team members know the goals and their roles in carrying them out. And they execute precisely.

2)      Move with the speed of trust – Low trust slows everything down and raises costs. But when trust levels rise, everything speeds up and costs go down. The winning organisations are capable of quick action “with the agility to respond ahead of, or at least stay even with, rapid changes in the new economic environment.”

3)      Achieve more with less – Of course, everyone is trying to do more with less, but the real question is “more of what?” Shouldn’t it be more of what your key stakeholders truly value and less of what they don’t want? The winning organisations focus totally on value—they are not just cutting back, they are simplifying and reducing complexities that customers and employees don’t value. Instead of having everyone do two or three jobs, they focus on doing the job that key stakeholders really want done.

4)      Reduce fear – The root of psychological recession is the sense that people have no control over what happens to them. Winning organisations help people break through that hopelessness and focus on what they can impact. Much of the fear is caused by unclear direction, by a less-than-compelling purpose. Entrusted with a mission and strategy they can believe in, they channel their anxious energy into results. If there’s one thing that’s certain about life, it’s uncertainty. The great people, teams and organisations perform consistently and with excellence, regardless of the conditions.

Nothing new but it certainly acts as a good reminder of proven ways to manage changing times and your team.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed by me in this blog are my personal views and do not represent the views of my employer or the organizations I have been associated with. I believe in the principle of sharing information. Feel free to link to any of the posts in this blog.
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