Tag Archives: teamwork

Lindsay’s In Business PART 61: All things to all people – stupid me 

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…

I’m back in London and sitting in a café bar with my Business Development Director. We’re soon to meet a well-connected, very insightful contact he’s set up for me. We talk for the first time about the misalignment bonanza between us over the past months.

I realise now that he had held back from opening up his network to Mirror Mirror because the proposition just isn’t right.  It’s not something he feels he can sell. I don’t know how far that was conscious or unconscious, but while I’d been super task and delivery focused with the plan to revamp and sell sell sell, he’d been more people and impact focused. I’d lost trust with him way too quickly and he’d lost the communication with me way too quickly.

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

two persons hand shake

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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 50: All change

five people fist bumping

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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…

Just on my way back from a one week trip to London – wow. It seems like everything is changing so fast!

Great response from a conference on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday morning’s intro meeting with a Strategy Implementation consultancy was very positive.  My new Director was able to join – I think it really gave him some confidence. The next steps agreed were:

  • let’s run a Quick Scan with his team
  • let’s produce a one-pager to share with a current client.

On Thursday, the leader of the conference I’d attended on Monday (who also runs a consultancy) got in contact to say he’d approached one of his clients who is potentially interested in running Mirror Mirror across multiple teams.

Both consultancies were talking about delivering the whole customer facing process themselves. This means we would effectively then just ‘license’ the use of Mirror Mirror. Taking on that business model – to sell licenses and mainly, or fully, work with consultancies to deliver – has a number of refreshing advantages. It isn’t a million miles from the way we’d been thinking before, but if we move away from being consultants ourselves and can scale up that way, it makes our job much more focused, lean, and simple.

Then to top it all off, Friday, a Head of Comms in an international European organization sent me a meeting request.  That wasn’t unexpected, but it felt new.  Normally I’m the one doing the polite chasing – but here we are – I’m being chased! It felt like we were on a whole new flow.

But back to the license-sales model.  Thinking more on that, immediately, 2 new priorities go straight to the top:

  1. We need to train the trainer – to get that design and content ready – not too difficult.
  2. We need to upgrade our software – the black box that could now be our main revenue stream – needs to upgrade. That’s a major cost and I’ve got some ideas about the funding for that.

Now, instead of losing sleep because I’m worried about the future of the business, I’m losing sleep because my mind is whirring with excitement about the future of the business!

And new challenges come up with every new era. With two new team members joining, how to strike a deal with them that balances an offer of ownership / revenue shares with what they will provide in return, and that is also fair to the two of us who have already been working at this for 2 years. Tricky stuff.  The answer isn’t obvious and I discuss it 1-1 with each team member.

With the new wave of confidence being generated by all of this good news, I pick up hints of guardedness among what the other three may be ok with in a new configuration of arrangements that I haven’t felt before in the business. I realise that I’m feeling nervous about handling this issue properly. I’m not great with interpersonal conflict and fear this topic may jeopardise the goodwill and harmony we need to move forward as a team of four.

But I have to pick myself up and get out of fear-mode. I can’t solve this immediately and there must be a good solution at hand.  Relax – this is inevitable.  My goal is to be transparent with all four of us so that we understand and are happy with the various arrangements among us. The skill now is to mediate towards that understanding and come up with something that has been properly thought through instead of acting impulsively.

Then it crosses my mind that maybe I am being completely naïve – maybe it won’t be possible to find a win-win for all.  Was transparency a mistake here? I hadn’t even considered NOT being transparent because the values of the business are grounded in openness, respect, and inclusivity.

But I’ll press on with finding a solution that fits. I don’t want to lose anyone and I want those values to be real.

 

Mirror Mirroris a proprietary organizational effectiveness process. It is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to accelerate shared understanding and ownership within teams as a means of improving strategy implementation.

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

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 29: It’s going on

Stephen Covey

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…

 Since the success of Mirror Mirror’s first case study, I’ve created a pretty neat slide pack (if I say so myself) to tell the story. I’m waiting on client approvals before circulating it. Skype calls are lined up with some good contacts (mainly with ‘intermediaries’ – freelancers / agencies who could add Mirror Mirror to their list of client offerings), and I’m building the network and improving the process / materials as I go on. My goal is to GET FOUR FIRST CLIENTS for Mirror Mirror.

The messages I use are fast evolving. Now, I say that I spot alignment gaps and opportunities, and work with teams to address those. So much simpler than the previous long-winded explanation.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 13: The Team and Tumbleweed

by Lindsay Uittenbogaard

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 obvious that when you ready a product and declare it ‘NOW AVAILABLE!!’ that there will be relative silence in return. But it still takes you by surprise.

But we’re not sitting 🙂 . Now that the Mirror Mirror process has been designed and is ‘ready’ to go, we need people to test Mirror Mirror, to give us feedback and help us fine tune it to be an AMAZING intervention.

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