Report Synopsis

Building Great Teams. Hierarchy, self-management, scorecards, candour and coaching

Matthew Gunningham

It has been said that the only constant in business (and life) is change – changes in rules and regulations, technology, consumer preferences, markets and even the climate. These changes are all things that farmers deal with on a day-to-day basis. The people working inside a business may well be considered by some to be another area of change to add to the list of challenges to address. However, an alternative view is that human nature is not changeable, so whilst individuals may have their own preferences, skills, strengths and weaknesses, they also have the constant need to be valued, recognised for their efforts, trusted, given the opportunity to contribute and to grow the talents and abilities in their areas of interest and to be heard and respected.

In historical production line settings, the ‘command and control’ approach could be a very efficient way to manage people. However, in today’s increasingly competitive and changing business environment, the ability to operate profitably and to attract people who can add value through fully engaging themselves in an enterprise has become vital.

Evolving the way business is structured, how responsibilities are arranged, how results are measured, how communication takes place, and how training and skills are continually upgraded results in happier, engaged, and productive people. This enables employees to make their highest contribution to the business and this can only improve the ability of the business to deal with external forces continually challenging long-term prosperity and survival.

As part of this research, examples of these more evolved systems were seen working well in a variety of settings, sometimes individually and in other cases combined with each other. Each one is a step forwards – in combination they become a powerful force, unleashing human potential and creativity and reinforcing happy and productive workplaces.

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