Why Culture Is Key

Why Culture Is Key

Blog, Team
To be a top flight team, the team’s members must be motivated.  Science tells us that to be motivated an individual must first have purpose - a reason why, a cultural imperative. Before we delve into the science, let’s look at the worlds of sports and business, where purpose and culture has provided the backbone for high performance. Bill Walsh was a legend.  When he took over coaching the San Francisco 49ers they were an under-performing bunch of also-rans in the American NFL. From 1979 to 1989, he turned them into one of the greatest sporting dynasties in the history of the sport.  His belief was that to build a successful team the members had to have character.  He said “You get nowhere without character. Character is essential to individuals,…
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Feel like you’re getting poor value for money from your employees? Here’s why –

Feel like you’re getting poor value for money from your employees? Here’s why –

Blog, motivation
In 1949 Harry Harlow (a professor of psychology) carried out a series of experiments observing rhesus monkeys solving a puzzle. The puzzle looked similar to the latch on a door.  At the start of the experiments he placed the puzzle in the cage with the monkey and waited... What happened next caught him completely by surprise! Without any prompting at all, the monkeys set to work trying to solve the puzzles. They worked with what seemed like diligence and looked (as much as monkeys can do) to be enjoying the task.  As the days went by the monkeys got better and quicker at solving the puzzles, until they were opening the latch-like mechanism in no time at all. This went against the grain of current thought about what powered behaviour.…
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How To Structure Your Team For High Performance

How To Structure Your Team For High Performance

Blog, Team
Only recently has real research gone into how teams form and the best way of going about structuring them to perform effectively. Data from the worlds of Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology can tell us plenty about the way a business should structure small teams. And how to scale these when they require real peoplepower to get to Maturity and beyond. Dynamic Duos These are (obviously) the easiest of teams to establish.  The world is littered with Dynamic Duos from family life, friendships and working teams. We speak to each other one on one, even if presenting to a room full of people. We pair up in relationships and marriage. We collaborate easily with another person.  There are simple biological reasons for which pair-bonding is important as well as for working…
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Do You Have The Courage?

Do You Have The Courage?

Blog, Team
As a business owner or leader, giving your team autonomy has a key role in optimising performance.  Do You Have The Courage?. Autonomy is a major motivator. It allows your team to become leaders themselves. Take responsibility for their actions. Form creative solutions to problems. Be more productive and perform better. But what is autonomy and why is it important? Psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan formed their theory of Self-Determination in the late 1970s. The theory states that humans have three innate psychological needs - competence, autonomy and relatedness.  When these needs are satisfied, we're motivated, productive and happy.  When they are suppressed our motivation, productivity and happiness decrease substantially.  Research conducted by Deci and Ryan (as well as others in the field) have found that it’s autonomy which…
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How To Prepare Your Team For The Inevitable

How To Prepare Your Team For The Inevitable

Blog, Team
This lion stands across the road from where I live in Richmond.  I pass him every day (at least once) and he reminds me of a favourite lesson that a hero of mine liked to teach. The Legendary Bill Walsh was Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers NFL Team from 1979 to 1988. He’s considered to be one of the greatest coaches of any sport there has ever been. With Walsh in charge, the 49ers won three Super Bowls and were the victor in over 60% of the games they played.  He’s also credited for changing the way the game of Gridiron (American Football) is played - creating the West Coast Offence, an intricate way of advancing towards a score, which is the basis of how all the NFL…
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