Simplify the complex, and improve performance

1st December 2015

"My team’s performance has improved by 32%. Just because I simplified things for them."

So said one of my customers last week.

She told me she could pinpoint the moment their performance started improving – when she started using a simple technique I showed her.

So, here it is. It’s very powerful – with your team and/or yourself…

  1. Start by splitting their job into its 2-3 core components. For example, her team works in sales, so we decided on two – (1) are they seeing enough potential customers, and (2) are they persuading them to take the next step (meet with them again, buy something, etc)?
  2. Create a table. In Column #1, write their name. In Column #2, write Core Component 1 (so, here, it would be "Seeing enough people?") Head up Column #3 with Core Component 2
  3. Both of you agree a grade for how good the person is at consistently doing each component well. Use whichever system you like. I like to keep it simple and give people an A if they’re exceeding expectations; B if they’re meeting them; and C if they aren’t
  4. Write these grades in Columns #2 and #3
  5. Start a new Column #4 called "Activities". In this, list at least ten activities they could do, to improve their grades. This takes a while. But it’s important. Having to write ten forces you/them to think of non-obvious things (which can often be better/quicker than the obvious ones)
  6. Open up Column #5 called "Immediate first steps". Here, write the (max) three immediate actions they’ll do differently right now. Make sure these are immediately actionable. For example, if in Column #4, you realised the best activity would be to ask for more referrals, the immediate next steps might be:-
  • Walk to your computer
  • Print off your customer list
  • Highlight the three customers who like you best
  • Create and practise a referral script
  • Call them up and say the script to them
  1. Agree how you’ll manage them doing this. What I/my customer do is this:
  • Boost confidence by managing the activity (did she ask for the referrals?), not the result (did she get them?)
  • Continually reinforce the activity by asking them the same question "who’ve you asked for referrals today?" as often as possible
  • Build pace by agreeing when you’ll next meet to formally discuss their progress. Tell them in advance of this next meeting that you’ll only be covering two things – their best success since Meeting One, and what immediate first steps they’ll be doing next
  • Repeat… repeat… repeat…

Two quick questions:

       Are you achieving your potential?

       Is your team?

This simple exercise will give you new, easy ways to help ensure you do.

Action Point

Do the table.

For you.

And/or your team.

And then consistently, relentlessly do your immediate first steps. Then repeat… repeat… repeat…

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