Teams are always in transition. Great leaders embrace the opportunities this presents. We partnered with Andrew Boyd, Partner at Allsop, and his team to get them on the front foot by leveraging their individual and collective strengths and increase 20 X ROI.
Andrew: “To sit there at the end of the year with everyone really energised and a very good order book going into the new year has been great. The standout thing being we ended up 10% ahead of target. And it wasn’t just that, it was the manner in which some of the deals that didn’t get concluded are now coming to fruition as well.”
A Team In Transition
The team was in transition. Andrew, a relatively new and younger partner running the team, wanted to introduce more collaborative and accountable behaviours in the team, better suited to the fast-paced market of today and tomorrow.
Andrew: “We wanted to empower some of the younger guys in the team. Help empower that transition between the old and the new, the different mindsets and attitudes towards work”.
The Challenges Facing The Team
- Business Growth – There was too much focus on the immediate targets and short-term performance. Andrew wanted “more of an awareness as to how they could build towards targets” in a more sustainable manner.
- Strategic Direction – Andrew wanted to explore the pathways, strategies or behaviours that help deliver results today whilst also sustaining performance over the long term.
- Talent Development – The partnership had offered Andrew some senior headcount to fill the gap being left by the retiring old guard. But he wanted to first invest in his team; to give them the opportunity to step up.
“We felt we had the raw materials. It was just about getting into a position, as a team, individually and collectively; we wanted to put ourselves on the front foot”.
There were concerns about the programme being ‘more of the same’. We designed the programme to ensure:
~ all aspects were linked to performance, making it tangible for everyone
~ it targeted and focused at individual development in alignment with team needs
~ success was measurable.
A strengths-based team development programme was agreed. This involved a mixture of team and 1-2-1 coaching over a six-month period.
The aim was to spark engagement and create momentum by identifying and leveraging the strengths of all 18 team members individually and collectively.
Ultimately, the team was enabled to have a say in where it was going, why that was important and how it would get there.
“There probably was a time where we didn’t necessarily have the individual skills and strategic mindedness as a team to understand how to get the best out of us. But we most certainly have that now. Everyone now is running both capacity-wise and enjoyment-wise very highly. ”
1. TEAM SESSION – INTRO
All Aboard! A fresh start.
All 18 team members heard the same message about what lay ahead. Everyone had an equal opportunity to ask questions and offer their opinion. Everyone felt valued and involved.
2. 1-2-1 SESSIONS
Working to their individual strengths, each team member transitioned to more accountable behaviours and mindset. They took ownership of their targets, breaking them down into more manageable bite-size chunks. They began to prioritise more effectively, using their strengths.
Their work became more relevant to them. There was more meaning to it. They felt like they were the ones driving performance. They were liberated.
“The team is equipped with more awareness of what drives value and performance in their role, being able to prioritise work and focus on areas that are actually fee-generating. Utilise those skills on a daily basis, start the day out knowing what you want to get out of it, and not slipping back into their old ways.”
3. TEAM SESSION – FINAL
Having significantly boosted energy and productivity, attention was brought back to the team agenda. The Team Strengths Profile evaluated team performance, behaviours and habits under a range of criteria. Where gaps appeared, the team committed to actions that would bridge them. You saw everyone put their hands up.
“Everyone knows their role in the team. Whether that’s secretarial level or junior surveyors all the way through to partners. Everyone realises their own strengths now. What energises them, where they fit into the team and that part of the strategy. We identified key areas for the business to move forward into. That’s being driven by people at every level.”
A core group were then nominated to collate and draft a three-year roadmap for the team.
“When we review performance according to the new roadmap, you can see considerable uplift there. That put us on the front foot, I can see how it would put other teams on the front foot too.”
The roadmap was approved by the team and presented to the organisation’s partnership. It has given everyone direction and purpose. It’s continually reviewed and adapted every quarter.
“In terms of where we stood last year, 3-6 months into the billing year, ending up 10% ahead of target tells you a huge amount as to how people embraced it and how we pushed forward.”
The pipeline of business is so strong the team are well ahead of their required run rate for the new financial year. They’ve also managed to reduce their cost base by £200k per annum.
“You’ve got to look at it twofold. If you look at the investment we’ve made in the younger people in the team, instead of burdening ourselves with bigger budgets and recruiting externally and the lag associated with that. You could quite easily argue that it would be 20X ROI, that’s fair enough.”
However, they’ve no intention of slowing down. They’re having fun now, they’re all playing to their strengths. Andrew’s investment in the team has paid off. They now have impressive financial and business growth, a clear strategic direction and are developing expert talent.
“The programme is recommended by everyone in the team. It was real and tangible. It has been raised in every appraisal since, including some outside of our team. The individuals and the team have got a huge amount out of it.”
TRIPS™ is a methodology that simplifies the seemingly complicated circumstances any team or business faces. When addressing your team and business challenges, you will benefit by:
T – Timeout to think free from distraction
R – Reflect on what has worked well in bringing you success, and what hasn’t
I – Ideally, how could things be better? Clarify when, what and why this future state is ideal.
P – Plan backwards, so you’re not constrained by your challenges today
S – Start now with committed action that you can track and review easily
The Strengths-based approach knits all of this together. Everyone, from the youngest and most junior person on the team up to the leader, understands individual and team strengths and risk areas. Tasks and relationships are more easily delegated to members who enjoy managing them.
You end up with a stronger engagement, leadership and performance.