Sunday, 22 January 2012

Business - It's about team work, isn't it?

The strength of an independent skill cannot be denied, however combine that with another, and another and another and the collective effect can be quite astounding. If you don't mind staying with me for a while, lets have a look at an example of this, then what brought this to my mind.

In a football team, for my American friends I'm talking soccer folks, no one player is more paramount than another. For a team to reach it's maximum potential, all the constituent elements have to be working and working at their optimum level. The goalkeeper, defenders, midfield and attack, all need to be individually fit, alert and skilled; this alone though is not enough. For this combination to peak the players must know each other well enough to bond and instinctively know what each other will do, the coach has to be on top of his game as well, the club has to have the right business structure and the fans have to be supportive. With all this in place and constantly working at a high level in a consistent manner then the club will start to be as good, then better than those around it. This scenario applies in any team sport.

In business it can be this simple, or far more complicated, as there is often more than one team having to work together. The sales team are always looking to score, the administrators are holding the fort and making sure risk and opportunity are not overlooked, while accounts defend the business from sloppy financial control and the CEO or owner keeps goal and watches the outfield. The coach is of course represented by the company accountants, solicitors, external PR/Marketeers etc; even a business coach! Within these sections of a business there may be smaller ones, but lets not over complicate things.

This was all underlined recently by an active conversation on a Facebook group I engage with. This conversation revolved around one part, or one team, within a business and which was the most important player. In reality we were not discussing people, but elements of on line development.

The core argument revolved around Content Vs Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To be more detailed it was a case of was content really king, or was search engine optimisation emperor? There was then also the question of aesthetic design and the promotion through social and traditional media options. This lead to an interesting and challenging debate. For me it highlighted that where there is interdependency there is less likelihood of individual supremacy, be it a system or a human resource. Why do I say this? Well for a website to operate optimally it must have good content, good design (In all aspects), SEO, and wider promotion; this can be traditional advertising or social media. Now of course the experts in each area are sure to suggest theirs is the most important, they are honor bound to do so.

For me, having developed, influenced and promoted web sites and not actually selling the individual elements, my experience tells me that all are important, there is no hierarchy and that just like the football team all the parts have to function properly to achieve the best performance.

Recognising that a web site is just one part in your businesses team of teams, we must also understand it must interact with the rest of the players, support them where they need it and be supported by them when it requires it. This scenario applies to each team within your businesses.

So which of the constituent parts of your team are perhaps not at their peak efficiency; which are perhaps suffering delusions of grandeur or importance and what actual harm is either doing to your business and how is it restricting your growth? Once you have identified if you have these issues you can create a strategy to resolve them. Sometimes though to be objective you may need to have an external perspective as well as your own.

I hope this has given you some ideas for your business and until next time remember that it's the combination of knowledge, passion and action, working together, that will deliver maximum performance.