It's simple. The members of high performance teams make compelling requests.
It's built into the culture. It's expected.
During a strategic alignment meeting with an international conservation science organization, a business leader lamented the pace of decision-making. "We make decisions at the speed of nearly dead turtles," she moaned.
Acknowledging the problem, we responded, "businesses grow and evolve at the speed at which clear and compelling requests are made and responded to."
A compelling request is defined by four attributes:
- It's compelling: the person receiving the request knows why.
- It's detailed: the person receiving the request knows what.
- It's time-bound: the person receiving the request knows when.
- It's actionable: the person receiving the request knows how.
Across all of the teams I've worked this, without exception, this has turned out to be a very big deal. Compelling requests have a profound influence on performance. In other words, business growth - getting the right stuff done - depends on acts of clear speech.
There's a deeper point worth noting: team culture determines what kind of business models can be created, and what kind of business models can be sustained. Language is culture, so one of the most important high performance team tools is compelling requests. It is a cultural attribute that teams agree to, practice, and leverage to increase performance.
A favorite poet, Taylor Mali, hits the mark perfectly and humorously with this video:
Speak With Conviction
Here is another high performance team tool -- a strategy template that enables you to design, evaluate and present your strategy to your team.