Bringing teams together with a simple cause, clarity of role and a united desire to deliver successful outcomes to customers is a vital part of a successful ABM program. The connection between behaviour and results is more often understood in terms of customers in business, but by applying the same focus to people and teams, business growth is much more likely.
This is more about understanding people, their attitudes and what behaviour those attitudes are driving, than it is about the program of activities you run. Take attitudes to an issue like climate change. Some people don’t believe in climate change or that it is one of the greatest threats we face. Others believe in the threat but see it as a job for someone else to resolve, while a third group believe in the threat and are prepared to take steps to change their lifestyle. The different attitudes to climate change affect how people behave. It is attitudes that drive behaviour; it is behaviour that delivers results.
We are familiar with the connection between behaviour and results in terms of customers. In fact, we are prepared to go to great lengths to understand our customers and earn the right to have a relationship. This is described brilliantly by Brian J Curran @brianjcurran in the Value Equation which demonstrates that customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. Applying the same focus to the people and teams responsible for growing your business can make all the difference to success; because it is attitudes that drive behaviour, that delivers results.
Making sure everyone in the team understands the difference between their role and the collective purpose of the team and/or the company, is a good place to start. People get distracted with their own agenda so understanding how team members fits into this broader purpose can be easier to think about in terms of a cause, a shared passion. Perhaps looking ahead, leaders who are going to have a sustainable growth strategy will behave like successful sports coaches – focusing on % gains.
Double Olympic gold medallist rower, Alex Gregory recognises the parallels between business teams and the ambitions of a rowing crew. He explains how, on his journey to the 2012 Olympic Games, it became imperative that everyone in the boat knew their role with absolute clarity and confidence. What’s more, each member of the team needed to know with certainty, the goals of one another. This was the only way to get the best performance.
“It’s natural to think simply working harder and putting in more effort as individuals would make the boat go faster, but in actual fact that was a sure fire way to pull everything apart and go slower! When everyone knew their role and how it fed into the team goal, we worked more confidently, efficiently and with unity and trust. This gave us the best chance to cross the finish line first.”
If you can align everyone to the same approach, purpose and desired outcome, while giving the team freedom to be individuals, the power of the group will shine through. The resulting energy can be truly infectious. Teams will support, learn from and energise each other. Because their attitude has changed, this has changed behaviour. And why is this important? Because we are all people.
About the author
Jacqueline Gummer is a Senior Consultant with Inflexion Group and has over 25 years’ experience helping teams move beyond transactional selling and tactical marketing to engaging better with their customers.