A few weeks ago, I visited a paper production crew meeting to kick off Turbo Leadership Systems' Cultural Benchmark Survey process for a new client. While waiting to get the meeting underway, I overheard some talk about the upcoming pizza party. One guy jokingly said to another, "Are you coming in?" The response was, "I'm scheduled off, but you're d_ _ _ right I'm coming in."
The importance of the pizza party was clear. I am sure that these two men and everyone else on the crew could more than afford a slice or two of pizza, so the opportunity to eat free pizza was not their #1 reason to attend. Something more was going on here.
I asked what was being celebrated, and the discussion that ensued was sad, or comical, depending on your perspective.
"Well, I think it's because we haven't had any lost time accidents." Another guy said, "I thought it was for good production." Then someone else said, "No, we set a production record but we didn't get the pizza for that, so we're going to have the pizza now for a combination of two things – safety and production record improvements. We got cheated out on one pizza party."
This team seemed unclear about their targets and really uncertain about their achievements. They didn't know the reason for their victory party.
As I said in InFormation – How To
Gain The 71% Advantage, there is nothing more empowering than clearly defined targets which are short enough in length, that when they are hit, they can be celebrated, or when missed, the team can engage in problem solving to determine what can be done to get a bull's-eye the next time.
You may be thinking, "This would never, could never, happen here. Our people know their targets, what they're supposed to be achieving. Any time we celebrate, people are very clear about why. What is wrong with these ding-dong managers who don't make targets and reasons for celebrating clear?" I can almost guarantee that if you asked the managers of this business if they had told the team what they were celebrating, those managers would be emphatic that everyone was told and knew the reason. Or, if you asked the highest level manager, the response would be, "I told so-and-so who was supposed to tell so-and-so who was supposed to tell so -and-so" the old parlor gossip game.
We can never be clear enough, nor can we state often enough what the mission, vision, values and goals of the organization are, and the targets each department is charged with hitting. We also can't state often enough what our recent records have been, what we are celebrating, what our next targets are, and what our plans are for achieving those targets.