High performing teams depend on several universally accepted tenants like common purpose, open collaboration and adaptability. Whether you are part of a Navy SEAL Team, a World Cup soccer team, or a Software Scrum Team, these tenants are supported by the core bedrock of Trust.
At the end of the year it is customary for various publications to reflect on the past year and make predictions for the coming one. In the 2016 year-end edition of “The Economist”, Tor Garnett of the London Metropolitan Police outlined her view of the future in a series of articles highlighting “young prophets.”
According to Garnett, “Our command-and-control leadership style might be crucial during a crisis but it is failing to deliver both the radical innovation and continuous improvement that are needed to manage increasingly complex security risks and criminal threats. Moving away from the ‘leader as hero’ style to a ‘team of teams’ approach, as many lean manufacturing businesses have done, will be difficult but vital to our success.”
On the morning of August 14, 1914, the French military governor of Paris and commander of the Armies of Paris General Joseph-Simon Gallieni, called a meeting of his cabinet. This gathering was not an ordinary meeting. It was less than four weeks after the beginning of World War I, and German troops were already advancing on Paris. The General requested that his cabinet stand, rather than sit, and asked that they refrain from wasting time discussing issues related to whether or not to defend Paris. Instead, he asked the group to certify its existing plans to defend the city, and review specific tactical orders in order to speed up the process. The meeting lasted just fifteen minutes.
On December 5th and 6th, I had the pleasure of attending the Chief Strategy Officer Summit put on by Innovation Enterprise in New York. This group of professionals had a distinct energy – there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world and their organizations have charged them with determining not only a viable path, but one that will bring them great success. This is no small task!
When considering the four principles of CrossLead: Trust, Empowered Execution, Common Purpose, and Shared Consciousness, it is Shared Consciousness that is often seen as the most abstract.
It is straightforward to look back at events and see when you trusted someone, when you were empowered to accomplish a task, or when you were with a group that all shared a common purpose. If someone were to ask you the last time you shared consciousness with someone, you might ask them how long it has been since they left the commune.
The holiday spirit has spread to the CrossLead Platform today with the release of our latest gift to our users – Version 4!
While many are taking time off to spend more time with loved ones in the coming days and weeks, you’ll be delighted to use the latest version on your return.
This is our biggest release yet, with many features that deliver more value and enjoyment from using the CrossLead Platform. It positions us for a very exciting 2017 product release cycle, which will see us maintain the same pace as 2016: fortnightly small releases, and large quarterly releases.
This quarter’s highlights include:
Brand new Presentation Mode
A revamped interface and workflow means teams can now access their presentations directly from the Navigation Bar to support the operating rhythm events in your organization.
New Plan Tiles
Attach a metric directly to the tile of your team’s plan in both column and single page views to allow teammates to see how you’re measuring success.
Enhanced Metrics UI
Bigger text and cleaner lines make your charts pop!
Stay better informed on the progress across your team and organization in one spot. Add it from your console as a new panel.
Daily Activities enhancements
Building off our third quarter launch of our newest module, numerous enhancements allow users to more easily prioritize their day.
As the organizations we work with know, creating, sustaining, and scaling a shared consciousness is process that does not happen overnight. Through the use of our platform, we’ve seen leaders change how their teams consume and spread information. With our V4 release, the ways that teams can communicate and maintain a shared consciousness has never been easier. We’re excited to see all the amazing things that you build and accomplish in 2017!
It is no secret that the world and its workplaces have changed in the past two decades; technological innovation has unleashed a previously unimaginable world.
Despite the opportunities for boundless growth, the burden to adapt to this new world falls on organizations and their people. Employees and managers are expected to work harder, react faster, make better decisions, and achieve bigger objectives with fewer resources. Teams self-organize for missions, then disband and re-organize. The title of a recentNew York Timesarticle on this topic posed an important question:
In the 1960s, academics like Michael Porter at Harvard Business School and Bill Bain at BCG (and later Bain) helped to define the idea of corporate strategy. From that humble beginning, a robust global consulting industry was born. Today, almost all companies engage in an annual planning and strategy process.
While the process to develop a robust strategy is mature and well established, organizations seem to have much less success in translating their strategy into execution.
I’m sweating in the baking Italian sun on the front straight of the Monza Raceway listening to the drivers rev their engines in anticipation of the start.
The light turns green and the race is underway as each driver battles to be first into turn one. I sat in a sea of loyal Ferrari fans or “tifosi” screaming encouragement in Italian. Lap after lap, I watch as the field goes by and tune into that hum of the engines. It’s not what it used to be but there’s no sound quite like it. After a slow start, Lewis Hamilton fought his way back to finish right behind teammate, Nico Rosberg, giving Mercedes its fifth one-two finish in 2016. In what was mostly an uneventful race for Formula One standards, it was evident that all of the other teams were competing for that final podium spot and a few more points towards the Championship. Working at CrossLead I’m trained to assess teamwork and leadership. Watching Mercedes blow the competition out of the water, I was intrigued to investigate the root cause for their success.
How do organizations insure that everyone is moving in the same direction?
Lots of people ask me if the spy game is as exciting as it is in the movies. While it is far tamer and less sexy than most of the fictional portrayals, it is nonetheless an engaging and fulfilling career. A life in the clandestine service involves living overseas, learning foreign languages, meeting interesting people, engaging with critical issues, having the opportunity to impact policy, using alias and disguise and writing – lots of writing. Frankly, stealing secret information from adversaries is challenging and fun.
That said, it would be a lot easier if overseas field officers could steal what we personally thought was most interesting, or most available. It would be less of a challenge if we could simply gather low hanging fruit, or recruit those spies that are most amenable to working with the U.S. It doesn’t work that way, however. We are only empowered to collect information that our top policymakers need to make critical decisions, and steal secret information that cannot be gathered by any other means. If nobody else can do it, we will at least try.