Tag Archives: team performance

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 65: Getting the whole experience right

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

There’s one café in the town I live in that is just packed.  Several other café’s in the same street look embarrassed being so empty in comparison. It’s called Kek and I usually avoid it because I don’t like busy places. But last week, a friend texted me to suggest we meet up there and it was too late to try changing venues by the time I got the message.

She was already there when I arrived, and it looked like the chair opposite her was the last one available in the whole cafe.  It was bustling and I tried not to bristle with hostility for the lack of space.

Over the following half-hour I didn’t realise how much the experience there had seduced me: it was such a subtle transition. The service was impeccable, the delivery was prompt, the coffee was presented with care and tasted great, the ambiance was warm and relaxing, the décor was fascinatingly homely – with that kind of bohemian, natural mix-and-match look, without looking overdone or pretentious. The music was funky and not too loud.

There’s actually a sign they have to use at the front door informing people how to queue without getting in the way of the cyclists outside – it’s that popular.

They’ve got it ALL RIGHT.  All of it. Every aspect. It’s an inspiration.  And that’s where I’m going with Mirror Mirror now.

I delivered a workshop for a small consultancy in London last week.  I know one of the guys there – he’s fantastic – very professional (another inspiration) and he’s helped get me in to this consultancy to help their team as well as to show them how it works so they can offer it to their clients.  We’ve already been working hard to submit 3 proposals to their clients, which is exciting.

My consultancy contact loved the Mirror Mirror report and workshop – he’s such a fan. Afterwards, he said

“Why don’t you print the report on thicker paper, add a field ‘Your Name’ and some spaces for notes, so that people in workshops can make it their own?  You could put it in a proper binder so it looks like something they want to keep.”

So cool.

We are starting to hone every aspect of the user experience.  Our last customer told me they loved how we customised our process to suit them. Right now, I’m on a train to Cologne for a workshop to set up our first database.  With this we’ll be more able to add / change questions and their phraseology. And we are starting to gather enough benchmark data that we’ll be able to include comparison stats in our reports.

The report we issued for the consulting organization earlier this week included ‘error bars’, which shows the average score per item as well as what the highest and lowest scores are.  This is very important detail when you want to know where the team is already aligned. I can’t tell you how long it took to pull that together – and it seemed to be one of those problems that seems to be difficult even though there was always some kind of reason why it didn’t happen – but we kept going with it and will never go back.

My ‘chat’ / pitch is getting much better after so much practice.  I’m constantly updating our customer facing materials as the explanation improves.

One of the clients we are pitching too loved the slides we sent him before a meeting so much that we didn’t need to go through them at all – they had already accelerated our conversation.

Amazingly, I’m getting compliments on how I’m doing as a facilitator and feel ready to facilitate any group, no matter how senior.  It’s moving forward.

I did have a bit of a dip last week as 3 possibilities I had been chasing last year fell through (budget / priorities / other) but that was then.

Yesterday I submitted another proposal to a global foods organization I’ve been courting for a while – and got on well with my contact there when we finally got to meet on my last London trip.

I do get feedback that the global consultancies already have offerings like this. But that’s where I can compete. They wrap it up in months-long consultancy packages.  Mirror Mirror is a lean intervention and clients seem to be very happy.  That’s what I’m working on.

Someone indicated that they thought my progress hadn’t been that fast after 2 years of having the product on the market.  A while back, that thought would have hurt.  These days, I just disagree.  Sod what they think.

This isn’t just a consultancy offering it’s a proprietary process in constant development.  Areas on my list to progress are legal and financial. I’m outsourcing jobs on graphic design, data management, platform development and marketing.  I’m doing business development, working up delivery partners, building up my knowledge in multiple disciplines, talking to universities about research proposals, and the list goes on.  I’m fully busy and not for the sake of it, I don’t think!

Now I’m going to do things at a pace that makes sense.  I have the luxury of the family loan I got at the end of last year to do that.  I spend wisely, work hard, and I’m aiming to be the best.

Mirror Mirror – … because a collective focus, with each team at the centre, drives performance.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 64: We are beginning to see patterns

arms bonding closeness daylight

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

It’s fascinating to discover that now, having some good experience, we are starting to see a pattern with the outcomes of Mirror Mirror. Having taken a step back over Xmas, a pattern is emerging. There usually is a core alignment issue at play within organizations that blocks effectiveness.  If you can spot that issue and start to unravel it, as we do, then other linked issues fall away. This means that while it can feel as if there are multiple problems going on that are difficult to track down and deal with, it may not be so chaotic.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 57: PUSH!!

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds… 

Right COME ON YOU SALES!!

Great conversation with the new business development director (4 hours a week to the year-end). We’ve shaped up an intro story in slides that he likes and he’s now getting around to approaching his best contacts.

We discussed our concerns – and were fairly direct and confrontative at times – as we should be to really address the elephants in the room:

  • Why haven’t more people been approached by now?
  • Why is the emphasis almost entirely on me to bring in business?

It was a constructive, respectful exchange. We got on to squaring up a lead generation plan that looks like this:

  • New sales funnel – Take the Team Test – just launched.

Just so you know this is a free, automated tool that assesses team effectiveness.  The tool is based on research that learning behaviours in teams lead to better alignment – and that both determine team effectiveness.  The test helps people see where the gaps are, so they can be addressed. The Team Test report includes:

  • top 5 behavioural strengths and weaknesses
  • a breakdown of scores for each behaviour
  • a comparison of how each team member sees the team purpose
  • group perception on alignment, positivity, and preparedness
  • a guide on what to do about the results.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 56. Is history repeating itself? 

think outside of the box

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds… 

Here’s how I see the journey has gone so far:

I launched a business selling a new approachto team communications / team effectiveness. The market is awash with stuff like this, but the process I have is, dare I say, revolutionary. It took a while to find a way to articulate and present the concept, and reactions in general have been positive. Within 14 months of trading, I got 3 great case studies and the process was all up and running.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 45: Why

IMG_0051What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Before I get on to WHY, (which is a question we all need to ask ourselves about what we do in business if we’ve ever watched Simon Sinek’s video on the topic) – I need to give you an update.

But to start with I need to share this. Yes it’s the first Mirror Mirror Webinar, hosted by the International Association of Business Communicators: 

Align Your Teams and Improve Business Results

22 May 2018 at 1 p.m. CET

Our next webinar guest speaker will be Lindsay Uittenbogaard who will be discussing team alignment and strategy implementation in the webinar Align your teams and improve business results.

People don’t achieve great results, teams do. But what gets in the way of great strategy implementation how people naturally see things differently, especially in complex work environments. Misunderstandings, assumptions, interpretations, information gaps, biases: unmanaged, these can lead to misalignment and conflicting decisions and actions, poor performance, frustration, and wasted time and money. All too often, teams can wallow around in a state of unnecessary misalignment that easily goes unnoticed and fail to take a step back to get a better shared current reality.

Register now for this free live event and you will learn:

  • About the latest research on team alignment and how it improves team performance
  • How to improve Team Alignment within your organization
  • How to fast track the journey to team alignment with the Mirror Mirror process.

Register for this webinar now!

 

By the way, for anyone coming into this blog afresh, here’s the helicopter summary (you can read about Mirror Mirror here):

  • May 2016 – fired, again – by an asshole boss. I’m done with employment.
  • June 2016 – looking for an exciting business idea with a lot of potential
  • August 2016 – early Mirror Mirror concept developed
  • November 2016 – basic process, reporting tool and communication materials developed
  • January 2017 – launch of Mirror Mirror in London
  • May 2017 – first interest from a friend of mine at Samsung
  • August 2017 – first trial delivered –excellent results
  • October 2017 – second trial delivered with a student project team– very good results
  • November 2017 – secure a student internship at the Technical University of Delft
  • February 2018 – Quickscan version of Mirror Mirror developed and tested with Aon, Rotterdam – great results

Between all of those milestones there has been a lot of activity with marketing, meetings and discovery; and lots of ups and downs adjusting expectations, reframing and adjusting. Every time I think things have landed with the positioning, the process, the materials – we see an enhancement to make.

I’ve been working full time and another 8 people are loosely involved in various parts on the side-lines. Cost cuts and creative financing has enabled me to continue trading on virtually no income for WAY longer than I ever thought possible. It seems ridiculous to think now that I initially gave myself 6 months from August 2016 to go into profitability.

What keeps me going is that every time the concept evolves to a new depth, when we get the amazing results that we get, when I look at how Mirror Mirror fits into the Future of Work and trends that show businesses will need to find ways to include the employee voice and ways to become more agile and more responsive, I become more motivated and excited by the potential.

Now trading for exactly 16 months, all of this hasn’t come without it’s huge moments of insecurity and self-doubt, but I can say the business is off the ground, just.

And now today’s update: Just over the past month, here are the main developments:

  • The sales pipeline has now 12 real possibilities (companies with whom I have an open / progressing conversation about Mirror Mirror. The time to convert these into sales is very long: months, so this is the result of more than a year’s worth of networking and selling.
  • Curiosity Amsterdam, the marketing company inccentivised to promote Mirror Mirror has sprung into action with a build of social media activity every week in the run up to the webinar.
  • I’ve recruited Edna Ayme-Yahil to the core Mirror Mirror team. Edna a wealth of commercial and communication experience and has agreed to come on board as Strategic Advisor and introduce me to her network. The first step of that involved a Pitch Upgrade. She introduced me to 5 experts in HR / Operations / Team Effectiveness who gave me feedback on my pitch. It has come on leaps and bounds with that level of input.
  • As a result, the USP of Mirror Mirror has chrystalised. Before, I could never make it tight enough but the pitch feedback taught me that it doesn’t need to be ‘tight’ – it just needs to be right. I’d had problems with it because I felt I had to pick the strongest of the various benefits and make it different – but the fact that it provides so many benefits and so well, is different in itself. Here it is:

Mirror Mirror is the quickest and most cost-efficient way of getting teams ready to transition, implement strategy, innovate, and improve performance. It provides multiple immediate and lasting benefits:

  • improves team engagement, alignment and effectiveness
  • creates a more open, respectful, and inclusive team culture
  • promotes team engagement and agility
  • generates useful feedback for relevant stakeholders

Better, right?

And finally, the why. Here’s my current ‘why’:

I want everyone at work to experience a better shared current reality, so they can be free of unnecessary frustration and confusion, feel good and do amazing things.

Mirror Mirror – the process that accelerates team alignment for improved performance and innovation. By enabling a better shared current reality between people with a shared goal, they make better, faster progress: www.mirrormirrorhub.com

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.comanja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com