Get the right people together and good things happen
In the ten years since starting my business, I did something last Friday that I have never done before.
I invited a variety of clients to come together and talk with each other about their experiences using the Profiles assessment tools.
The way I looked at it, those people “in the trenches,” doing the work, could offer the best ideas to share with others. I have lots of suggestions and examples that I give my clients, but I had an instinct that this type of collaborative discussion would have more impact.
The dynamics at the meeting confirmed that impression. Despite icy road conditions that morning, we enjoyed 100% attendance. After sharing ideas for almost two hours, I asked if they wanted a coffee break, but heads shook no and we carried on. At noon when we ended, everyone stayed to enjoy lunch together for more sharing of ideas.
Feedback after the session voiced appreciation for how open everyone had been. Each of the clients came into the meeting with varying levels of experience, from veterans who I have worked with for about eight years, to others who have started within the last year. Yet, everyone walked away thinking about something in a new, different way.
My goal was to discover ways for these clients to get more out of their investment. Each of them has a deep desire for a quality workplace environment and an exceptional experience for their customers. With that commitment to employees and customers, I wanted to help them accomplish those objectives.
These companies have witnessed the value of the assessments and we have significant success stories already under our belt. But why stop there? Why not forge into new territory and see if we can do more with what is already around us?
I learned from this experience, too. As I was planning it, I worried if everyone would find value. I worried if they would bring up problems I wouldn’t have the answer to. I worried whether the organizations would be so different that the ideas wouldn’t be useful. But I shouldn’t have worried at all.
I brought talented people together who wanted to learn. When that happens, the answers will come.
Meanwhile, Grace was enjoying a lazy morning at home. She was with us in spirit, knowing the right people were at the right place.
You don’t have to include everyone on your team for every meeting. But you should make a conscious effort to bring those together that have a common goal, even when things are going just fine. Everyone benefits when that happens.
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Another insight-rich post, Robin! So good to hear that your day was well-received and your clients came away with value and learning. Your experience is a good reminder that “changing it up” can reap huge benefits. We may tend to lean on our well-documented, well-practiced procedure or process, invite those who we know will be the value-adds to our meetings and such, but it’s when we take a courageous leap and sprinkle a new ingredient in the mix, that we experience new-found innovation and creativity. Fun!
It was such a fun day, even more than I expected! Changing it up has more benefits than we can imagine when we start. Thanks for stopping by!
Sounds like a great and really productive meeting. How rewarding!
This is and always has been a great Idea. I regularly get together with my employees to get their input on any given project that we are working on. This lays out the foundation and Ideas for the project and everyone knows where we need to go and what we need to get there.
I can definitely see you being a good facilitator of your team, Lionel! And when the process is routine, as you mention that it is, I imagine folks are very open to offering ideas. Makes the whole process that much more beneficial.
Robin, how wonderful times like this are … and perhaps more precious because they’re too rare. I so fondly recall a series of meetings with a group of colleagues over the space of a year as we planned a master’s degree program together; I cherished every one of those gatherings and miss them still. Thanks for the reminder that life — and work — are worth pausing to reflect with others, learn with others, and create with others.
Good point, Tammy, about them being rare. You’re right — it took me 10 years to do it! 🙂
Robin – sounds like a very powerful experience. Congratulations for putting it together!
Thanks, LeeAnn! It was very rewarding, but I think that will always be the case when you bring people together who want to make a difference.
Great post Robin!