Plenty for the price of one
September 8th, 2017

Passion, pride, honesty, integrity – some of the words that come up endlessly in team conversations when  the issue of  desirable values are discussed. As someone who’s facilitated such conversations, I don’t make light of them, but  I do sometimes question their efficacy. Are they game-changers or cliché fests? Or somewhere in between?

Working with a company recently I was privy to their (long) list of desirable leadership traits. Well thought-out? Absolutely. Memorable? Not so much. In my experience of working with sporting teams, I’ve seen many ‘value’ powerpoint presentations used at the season start to tick the coach’s ‘culture’ box. But is there a better way?

We live in the digital age of character counts, hashtags and emojis – of information overload. What’s needed is something that cuts through the clutter, something memorable that most of all excites people. Anyone running a team or organisation has to think in tweets and hashtags, not paragraphs and lists.

Think of biblical stories, Aesops fables, words of ancient philosophers – most of them have stood the test of time because of the simplicity, singularity and depth of their message and depth of narrative.  Our need for simplicity hasn’t changed – but we’ve found a way to complicate things in the spirit of being smart.

The ‘One Thing’ concept has major potential for traction in the modern world. And that one thing needs to be emotive, easy to understand, easy to relate to with a set of actions easily associated with it. I know of one particularly successful company that has chosen the word remarkable to be their one thing. To cut through all the clutter they believe in doing something every day that is remarkable. #remarkable

Simon Sinek, the well-known writer and speaker, in his now famous TED talk speaks of  companies ‘Starting with the Why’. Aside from the merits of his content, that talk was massively popular – because it spoke of just one thing.

Consider what your one thing might be. Mindful that it may require a lot of thought, depth and a session with the cliché police before it’s the right one thing for your team. But imagine the power once you’ve got it. You may just get plenty for the price of one!