As a leader, one of your responsibilities is to champion a team culture that really works. You’re in a unique position to take a high-level view of your team’s activities and interactions, and to assess how they can improve. When you have an idea that you believe will be a game-changer for your team, spend some time really considering it from all angles. Sometimes an idea looks a lot better on paper than it plays out in actual experience, so before rolling it out, conduct a quick, litmus test.
Four Questions to Determine if Your Idea Is Ready to Roll Out:
1. How is it personally compelling for your team?
The most powerful ideas engage people’s minds and hearts. Unless they truly understand the reasoning behind it and how it benefits them and the team, no one gets fired up about a new procedure that feels like it makes their life harder. If you’re considering a change to your team culture, work to see it through their eyes before you try to implement it. As a leader, you can see the overall benefit your idea provides. Approach it from your employees’ perspective and know what’s in it for them.
2. How is it different from what you’ve been doing?
You’re probably considering a change because something isn’t working particularly well. Perhaps you’re seeing communication issues between departments. Identify where breakdowns are happening, then build support around the key roles/individuals who will be most affected by the change. Having clear, commonsense processes in place where people know exactly what they’re responsible for sets a clear standard. At the end of the day, it’s important both to have your team’s buy-in and to actually solve the problem.
3. Could you communicate its value in a 140-character tweet?
< For better or worse, we live in a society where information overload means even great ideas get lost in the shuffle. When you circle up your team for a ten-minute conversation to launch your new idea, it shouldn’t end with a roomful of glassy-eyed employees or a Q&A that’s all answers and no questions. This goes back to your idea being personally compelling to your team. Even if you have to map out your end point and make changes incrementally, your team members should leave the roll-out meeting able to succinctly and accurately describe to a colleague who missed the meeting what the change is all about and why it’s important.
4. Will it survive changes to your team or your company?
It’s true in life and business: The one constant is change. Before presenting your idea to the team, think through its entire lifecycle. Ask yourself hard questions: Are we going to be able to do well with this no matter how things change? Will we rally around this no matter what? Can this idea evolve with the team? A culture-shifting idea should be broadly applicable to current and future employees, and translatable even if your team’s areas of responsibility morph into something new.
Your team culture is far more important than any one of its specific outputs, and should be treated with care. When you’re responsible for creating and supporting a successful team, your culture-building ideas really do matter. Considering these four questions will set your ideas up to make a splash and stand the test of time.