A guest blog by Charles Kingsmill, someone we rate here at Spring.






I work with top teams who want to rejuvenate their business strategy and outsmart their competitors.  One of the first things we look at is how to find competitive advantage in the team itself.  Here are the seven practices that my clients have found most powerful.

1. Decide to make a lasting difference as a team. Create a sense of common purpose. Challenge your team to leave a legacy that really means something to them. This is a common pattern seen among high performing teams.

2. Get together regularly. Even if it’s only over coffee or on the phone for five minutes, try checking in daily, if possible with the whole team together.

3. Get the best from each other. Explore each other’s working styles, respect them, and turn them to your advantage. Psychographic tools can help: MBTI, Belbin, FIRO-B – or sometimes they can just complicate things. So start just by talking about what you need from each other and about what you can offer each other.

4. Tackle bumps before they become blocks. Ask “what has held anyone up for more than a day?” or “What issues are there that need airing?” Use the team to find solutions.  It’s clunky at first, but quickly becomes a standard way of working.

5. Learn as a team. Ask each other what they’ve learned or found out or what has inspired them. Check all the time: What’s working? What’s not? What should we keep? What should we do differently? Keep it frank but positive.

6. Rehearse encounters. Very few people practice for meetings or difficult conversations or pitches. Yet rehearsing really works. Use team members to play other parts or to watch and give feedback.

7. Turn the organisation chart upside down. Hierarchies are outdated. They prize power and scarcity, and people don’t like them. Turn your pyramid upside down so that senior people are seen to shoulder responsibility and provide support. Your team members will love it.

Click this link to read more of Charles Kingsmill’s blogs