First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Define How Your Team Will Work: Four Key Considerations


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

Most team leaders know to help their team define goals, but the conversation shouldn’t stop there. You also need to agree on the mechanics of how the team will get the work done. Here are four issues that need to be clear on every team:

1. Roles and responsibilities. Every member needs to know their tasks and how their work will contribute to the overall goals.

2. Work processes. You don’t need a notebook full of procedures, but agree on how to carry out the basics—such as decision-making or communicating.

3. Rules of engagement. Establish a constructive team culture. Discuss the shared values, norms, and beliefs that will shape the daily give-and-take between team members.

4. Performance metrics. How will you measure progress? Define the measures for meeting the goals, and the consequences for not meeting them.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “For Your Team’s Success, Remember the How” by Linda Hill & Kent Lineback.

To read that article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out the new book, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the writers of “A Spoon Full of Sugar” – Your Communication Tip of the Day

Robert Sherman died yesterday.  I am sorry to say that I did not know his name.  But I know his music.  He, with his brother Richard, wrote some of the most memorable music of the past century.  Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang; Mary Poppins; It’s a Small World; A Spoonful of Sugar; Winnie the Pooh.  All singable, all memorable.  All in our heads.  In fact, I’ve been singing some of these in my head since I heard a remembrance of his life and work yesterday.

Buried in the fine remembrance, on NPR (listen, and read the transcript, here), was this great piece of counsel.

John Lasseter of Pixar and Disney once said, “You can not forget a Sherman brothers’ song for your life.”
Their mother was an actress and their father was a popular songwriter. He once told his sons the rule of the three Ss. Keep it singable, simple and sincere. Boy, did they listen.

So here’s your communication tip of the day.  Whether you are speaking, writing, make it:

• the three Ss:
     • singable (memorable phrases short enough to repeat easily)
     • simple (to the point)
     • sincere (always!)

Singable, simple, sincere – remember these three Ss, and you will indeed communicate well.

Composer/lyricist Robert Sherman (left) and his brother Richard stand next to the car used in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The brothers wrote the songs for the movie, as well as a musical version that began running in 2002. (Ezio Petersen/UPI/ Landov). Singable, simple, sincere – remember these three Ss, and you will indeed communicate well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Posted by | Randy's blog entries | , , , , , | Leave a comment



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