A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.
The Dalai Lama
It was a traditional corporate battle…Sales versus Marketing. As it always does, it was having an adverse impact on performance. The Sales team thought marketing weren’t giving them any quality leads and the promotions they were running were irrelevant and ineffective. Marketing was questioning both the ability of the sales team and their effort. It was an environment laced with doubt, uncertainty and distrust.
The reality was neither team really knew what the other was doing and any communication between the two was ineffective.
What to do?
First – Clarify Expectations
The first step was essential though difficult. It involved clarifying expectations. What exactly did Sales expect from Marketing and vice versa. Only 5 points each and every point was discussed debated and finally agreed to.
It was a start. Not enough to solve the problem but a sound platform.
Then the Masterstroke: VISIBILITY
Two large television screens were mounted in the work area, one for Sales and one for Marketing, both visible to everyone.
The Marketing Screen showed the number of leads being generated and then those leads broken into three levels of quality. It also had the number of leads that led directly to sales and then the total amount in dollars generated.
A second level screen showed the promotions marketing was working on and how they were progressing.
The Sales Screen tracked performance to budget but also the number of emails, calls and meetings being generated. It included the conversion rates for the sales team collectively and individually.
In simple terms both teams had complete visibility not only on results but the actual work activity that was generating the results.
The results were staggering. In less than a month not only had the performance of both teams improved dramatically the entire culture and working relationship changed too. Negative conflict had vanished and meetings were almost entirely focused on what was actually happening and how to improve.
The Lesson: Visibility and Trust
Lack of visibility on performance leads to doubt and uncertainty, at chronic levels this invariably leads to distrust
Once a team has the opportunity to look critically at their work through an unfiltered lens, open to both the positives and negatives, it becomes easier to improve.
Visibility on work activity brings a high degree of individual and team awareness. The ability to see exactly how you are performing and then the opportunity of debating how to improve brings a whole new level of confidence and trust that is so valuable in building great teams.
What you need visibility on
As a leader look to create a visible work environment that has three key components.
1. Team Goals
Develop a simple method of seeing the goals each team is trying to achieve and how they are progressing to target?
2. Individual Work
Ensure also that you can see the actual work activity each individual is focused on and how he or she is progressing?
3. Roadblocks and Challenges
Make clearly visible the roadblocks and challenges the team is facing daily?