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Collective Intelligence

Would you like to get more value from your team? Maximize their output and contribution?
At one of my clients Rockefeller Habits agenda weekly meeting this past week we brought together the collective intelligence of his executive team to help wrestle one of the challenges their business has been facing as they looked to their busier season, December through April. 
Included in this meeting were two newly hired managers that were attending the weekly meeting for the first time. That should suggest to you how quickly this process can be implemented. It doesn’t require any training, however it does ask for input, and sometimes new managers and employees can be reluctant to provide their input. That’s why it’s important that whoever is facilitating the meeting asks each attendee for their contribution. A lot of times the best ideas get trapped because one or more members are reticent to offer their suggestions either because of tenure or the louder voices of their more outspoken peers. Single out members and ask for their input and they will respond.
In this case the challenge was in the winter the business gets very busy doing on-site training for their new clients. In the past they have utilized their support team to go on-site to do face-to-face training; however this usually meant a reduction in response time to their current customers due to a decrease in support staff at their home office.
They were looking for a solution that would give good service and training to their new customers as well as continue to provide outstanding service to their current customers.
Options included utilizing other staff members, on-line training, hiring subcontractors, and increasing the permanent training staff. 
While there were a number of problems that contributed to the issue including the need to document their current training process and good forecasting to determine how many trainers they would need, the owner quickly narrowed the focus to finding the right people to do training. That he concluded was the most difficult issue wrestling with this in the past.
Hiring permanent training staff was eliminated since during the summer the industry they sell to is frequently too busy to purchase their systems at a high level to keep more than one person in training, plus at that point with the business being slower they can afford to utilize support and other staff.   Utilizing current staff is just as problematic during the winter since they’re occupied serving and converting new customers.
The best solution that everyone contributed to appeared to be hiring outside subcontractors. Choosing that solution, we quickly got down to defining who we were looking for this opportunity, and where they might be currently.
Lots of suggestions appeared with teachers, and retired business or sales people possibly being options. In our coaching tools we have an Ideal Candidate Profile to provide input on what the specific background, skills, personality, education and experience that a hiring decision requires, plus a Sourcing Strategy worksheet to help identify where this ideal person might be right now, and how to go about attracting them.
In about 20-30 minutes we had used the collective intelligence of the group to arrive at a pretty clear picture of what the perfect candidate for this position might be and where he or she might be found.
The owner was particularly pleased with the progress they had made and felt relieved that a problem that had been recurring for a number of years may finally have found a solution.
Weekly meetings are just one of the meeting rhythms we recommend in our coaching process to stay in touch with your staff, and get the collective intelligence of your team to wrestle problems to the ground.  
Think about how much brain power you have in your business. How often do you call upon it to help provide solutions? The collective intelligence process we do in our Rockefeller Habits weekly meetings taps into that wellspring of brainpower. The staff has a great time solving issues and enjoying a friendly repartee with each other.   It makes the business more fun! And a more fun business is one where people contribute more and feel excited to come to work.   

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.