In the timeless—and ever-pertinent in business—words of Vanilla Ice “Stop. Collaborate. And Listen.”
In this blog, we’ll quickly cover a 3-point exercise that all leaders should run through regularly with their team.
STOP – As a leader, take a step back.
Being stuck in a daily routine and mountain of meetings, this is the life of a leader. Many leaders get so comfortable in their roles, their team and their processes that they don’t ever take the time ask “Why?” they are doing the things they are doing.
As a leader, it is important to take a step back and overview not only what you do, but what it is your team does and if there is room to change, improve, and grow.
COLLABORATE – Ask the people who do it every day.
While it’s great for leaders to take the initiative to suggest and implement changes in processes and production lines, there is nothing better for buy-in and research than asking/consulting with your staff and team, who do the bulk of work.
As a leader, your role isn’t just to MAKE the changes, you also need to FIND the changes. Collaborating with your team and other similar teams will provide you with the insight required to make an informed decision, ensuring the biggest impact.
And LISTEN– Keep an eye and ear open for feedback.
Once you’ve collaborated on potential changes, and maybe you’ve even done a cost-saving analysis, don’t just push it off to the side and expect that you’ve “done your job”. Instead, keep an open mind with your team. Listen and look to see how the changes are working out. Maybe they are cost-saving, but are they hurting staff morale or productivity in the long run.
As a leader, there is a need to consistently cycle through changes and not be upset or discouraged if one of your changes has negative feedback or outcomes. Take that experience and knowledge and learn from it.
As a leader you should use the Stop, Collaborate, and Listen (or Vanilla Ice) approach with your team. Stop and find a process or cycle that you find to be old, inefficient and/or wasteful, and reach out to your staff. Collaborate with them on ways they think it can be improved and take the time to better understand their point of view. Then, once implemented, listen to the feedback of the changes. Were they good or bad? From there, take that feedback and use it in the next cycle.
By: Andrew Martel, Senior Business Analyst