Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Anyone who knows me up close and personal knows that I’m a productivity junkie. I’ve taken business calls while cooking and washing dishes. That wasn’t enough so I once did a phone interview while riding my motorcycle. My point is not to encourage you to do any of these things and as much as I wish I could caption: ‘these stunts are performed by trained professionals’, I won’t because I’m no professional when it comes to being productive. But one thing’s for sure, I love being productive!
If you’re like me then you’ll love what comes next! When I started developing a team for my new venture at Memcorp, I realized that I wanted them to be just as productive as me. I soon realized that it was an unfair ask. Some people are more productive and some are less, a lot of this depends on what drives each person. So of course I had to chart out a path and give people clarity on what they need to do in order to achieve our ultimate goal -but you already knew that.
So what did I do different? Well I realized that, like anyone else, the people I’ll be working with will do some great things just as they would make some mistakes. One of the sure deterrents of productivity is investigative analysis. When people don’t feel safe enough to admit they’ve made a mistake; they’re likely to lie or not tell the whole truth to keep from getting in ‘trouble’. This sends you or another member of the team on a path to conduct an investigative analysis to determine what really happened. That, as opposed to the team member telling the truth about their mistake, costs valuable time and effort for everyone involved.
So my struggle became to build a team that thrives on honesty. Notice I said ‘struggle’ because it really is a struggle. There are times when some mistakes are made which are really hard to fix and much harder to resist from reprimanding the maker of that mistake. At times I do fall prey to not taking the high road but in times when I do have my wits about me; I think about the consequence of my action. I think: ‘it may be hard to fix this mistake now, but imagine how much harder it would be if this person hadn’t told me the truth?’ And sometimes all it takes is that one nasty remark which may keep that person from telling the truth when they make a mistake.
Yes it’s true that some people will naturally tell the truth irrespective of their environment because that’s how they’ve wired themselves to be. But not everyone is like that and we need to create an environment in which everyone is productive not just the ones who have the courage to tell the truth. Who knows -living in an environment like this, one may gain the courage to tell the truth even when their environment doesn’t support it!
I’m keen to know if you agree with my approach. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.