Instant Team Building - Some great ideas for building and keeping an excellent team
Nick Dougan, a business coach based in Sevenoaks, West Kent, reviews one of the ActionCOACH system books on teams and leadership, Instant Team Building.
The Instant Series by Brad Sugars, published by McGraw Hill and available from Amazon, makes many of ActionCOACH’s core ideas available in the public domain. ActionCOACH believes in a spirit of abundance, and its willingness to share much of its systems in this way gave me a great deal of confidence about those system when I decided to join the network, as it should also give confidence to potential clients. I’ve met independent business coaches who use these books with their clients and who rave about them! (Of course, we have a great deal more material in the system that we coaches can make available to our clients when it’s appropriate!)
The Instant Series books comprise system manuals, written in a language to which almost all business owners can relate. I’ve read for an MBA, and let me say this: Doing an MBA, or reading academic business textbooks, is generally not going to help the small business owner improve their business in the near future, even if they have the time and inclination to read them.
The book is divided into seven main subject areas:
In Vision, Mission and Culture, the first chapter, Brad Sugars explains the importance of these factors in attracting and motivating yourself, and your staff. ActionCOACH’s own ones are presented as an example.
The second chapter looks at the value of DiSC psychometric profiling when it comes to understanding what makes people tick as an aid to one to one communications, team leadership and selection. He also dips into Living Styles, based on Thomas Harris’ work “I’m OK, You’re OK”.
Chapter 3 explains the “Six Keys to a Winning Team”, a core part of the Action system. The keys – Strong Leadership, Common Goal, Rules of the Game, Action Plan, Support Risk Taking and 100% Involvement & Inclusion – are explained, and a number of supporting concepts are covered along the way.
Sugars then explores how one goes about creating an environment in which people will enjoy working and be able to give of their best, including the “WIFLE” team meeting.
Systems are mentioned briefly in Chapter 5 – an extract from ideas covered in more detail in Instant Systems – before Chapter 6 deals with recruitment. I’d used group recruitment and selection before coming across Action’s approach to it, and while the “Four Hour Recruitment Format” will not work for all types of role, I have seen clients achieve great improvements to their selection success rate by using it – and spend significantly less time on the process too.
In Part 7 a number of beliefs are challenged and some new models for thinking are presented, including the concepts of “above and below the line” to challenge one’s own and others’ commitment, the Reticular Activating System or RAS as a means of personal target setting, and a number of visualisation techniques.
The final section of the book is entitled “Synergy”. Synergy is the fifth of the Six Steps, which are explained in another of this series of books, The Business Coach, and comes after Team, which was Step 4. In order to explain what he means by synergy in the business context, Brad gives two case studies illustrating how the application of ActionCOACH systems can make a real impact on business performance.
Instant Team Building is a short book the core is 120 pages – so it’s easy to read. It’s fair to say that whole books could have been written about each of the sections, and it does not go into great detail – it’s about overall principles.
If you are a business owner or manager and you’d like your team to work better for you – and to enjoy themselves more at the same time – then this is a book that you should read. You might then decide to talk to an Action business coach – you may well qualify for a complimentary coaching session – to help you apply these principles effectively in your business.
By the way – I read business books extensively, and if you are interested you can read other books that he has reviewed on Amazon. I haven’t reviewed the Instant Series there because, as an Action Coach, I am deemed to have a vested interest in the books – but if you’ve worked with a coach and found this book helpful, why don’t you write a review? It’s a great way, as we say, of “locking-in the learnings”.
Nick Dougan is an Action Coach business coach based in Sevenoaks, Kent, and working around the South East of England. He aims to coach a thousand businesses to achieve higher profitability, smoother running operations, and to build businesses than “work without you”, the business owner. If you’re looking for coaching, consultancy, business advice or management training, give him a call.