Our web site was long overdue for an update and so our project began to revamp our look and freshen up our story. When we sat down to plan out the content, theme and palette, what quickly became apparent was that we were not really clear on what we were trying to share. The story was confused. And if we were not clear, no-one else would be either.
At first it was disheartening to accept that we had not really clarified what our real value was and why it was meaningful to our clients. We had a wonderful group of committed founders and executives working with us to build their teams and execute their strategies. The process was delivering results and we were all getting somewhere. Yet what was very challenging to do was to distil the secret sauce – what was working and how to extract the essence of what our focus should be. Clearly a ‘simple’ web site project was not that simple.
Everything begins with a clear idea
Once we had accepted the real work at hand, it became an exciting challenge to find our way through it. So what would be our approach? What methodology could help clarify our thinking in a meaningful way? If we were guiding our clients on their journey to great ‘teaming’, what would we suggest to ourselves?
So we started with strategy. We used the ‘7 Strata’ approach from Scaling Up to deep dive into our unique and compelling business model. This is an incredibly powerful process that takes you step-by-step through a practical and simple strategic thought process. And just like most of our clients experience it, the meaningful story and strategic focus was already there, just under the skin, waiting to be uncovered and brought to the surface.
Leaning into natural energy
The next step was to translate that strategic clarity into the story on the web site. And then it was time for Contribution Compass to shine. This team profiling methodology is a powerful approach to developing people and building highly-effective teams. It is so core to what we do and how we think that it was surprising it took us so long to connect the dots.
Contribution Compass focuses on natural energy or flow, and how to get people and teams into flow and maximising their outcomes. An individual completes an online profile, resulting in a combination of the four natural energies and an overall profile, being one of eight options.
We used the four natural energies to map out our value proposition in a way that was complete, inclusive and meaningful. This really helped to focus our thinking and provide structure to the way we communicated our unique contribution.
Activating natural energy is dynamic, creative, energised, innovative and strategic. Here we defined our contribution as ‘From Lost to Found’, where purpose, values and strategy provide direction and focus. Inspiring natural energy is all about people, development and teaming. In our context that became ‘From Alone to Supportive Connection’, where founders and leaders build a team that can liberate the leader’s time and secure the business’ continuity. Sustaining natural energy is all about operational excellence, rhythm, sustainability and strategic execution. For our Compassionate Leaders this focus was ‘From Inadequate to Confident Competence’, where the business can develop the sustained execution of its strategy and build long-term momentum. And, lastly, Refining natural energy is precise, efficient and controlled, while maximising return. Here we translated this to be ‘From Bored to Inspired Flow’, focusing our Compassionate Leaders on getting their teams into flow and maximising engagement and well-being.
A model for deeper thinking
Besides the clarity and focus this approach provided us, internally and externally, it had another surprising outcome. We decided to develop and offer what we call our complimentary pre-scan service to walk a journey with a leader and team and work out what was most important for them to focus on for the next 12 months.
In planning the pre-scan questions and process, we used our four value areas to kick-start our thinking. What emerged was a 16-point model for evaluating and developing teams that has become the foundation of just about everything we do. We could not have got there so easily without having committed to a deep-dive thought process based upon the Contribution Compass, a methodology we know and love so well. As it inspired our thinking, perhaps it is the one thing that could support you to think and lead differently and more deeply.