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Building ‘value pressure’ not silver bullets

It’s a new year and I hope you’ve returned to work refreshed and ready to face the joys and challenges this year will bring.

I’m a big fan of rugby. Being in New Zealand, the All Blacks are my team. Something I’ve noticed about them… It’s often in the last 20 minutes of the game that they pull away from their opponents. They are supremely fit and the impact of their reserves off the bench is undoubtedly a factor.

Yet, what stands out for me? Pressure. The pressure created through patient and consistent execution of skills. The opposition eventually cracks and the All Blacks snatch the opportunity to score. And, more often than not, win.

All the great professional sports teams understand this principle. But that’s just sport. Can we apply this principle to the workplace?

It’s tempting to jump at anything that looks new and shiny. Silver bullets. New methods or technologies promising a faster route to success. We lose focus and are inconsistent in our actions and communication. Forgetting about the basics.

Don’t get me wrong, new methods and technology are often essential. Change is good. Often the new year is the time to do that. But not at the expense of what makes us uniquely valuable to customers and colleagues.

Perhaps it is this value that we should double down on. Patient and consistent execution of the skills that make us valuable creates ‘value pressure’.

We’ll reach our desired outcome. Any required changes and new methods to adopt will become obvious and align well with who we are and what we want to achieve.

So, as we dive into 2018, how do we create ‘value pressure’ in the workplace?

Know the process. Trust the process.

Understand how we deliver value to our customers or colleagues. What is the unique mix of relationships, skills and application we bring to our role? We may need to ask others for feedback to get better insight into this.

Success may not arrive straight away. Timing is often out of our control. We must be patient and trust the process. Our ‘value pressure’ will lead to the right opportunity at the right time. That opportunity could be anything depending on our circumstance. A new customer, an interesting project, career advancement etc…

Not sure where to start with building ‘value pressure’? Consider these five questions, linked to purpose, mastery and autonomy, to kick-start the process:

1. Who am I serving?
2. What do I provide that is valuable to them?
3. Where do I feel I make my greatest contribution in the workplace?
4. What habits and actions will I put in place to consistently deliver this value?
5. Do I need any further resources (time, tools, sign-off etc) to enable me to do this?

Are you a team leader and part of your ‘value pressure’ will be finding ways to enable engagement in your team? Have a look at our Autonomy Assessment Tool. This is an exercise you can run with your team to establish what optimal self-direction looks like and how you can get there.

All the best as you build ‘value pressure’ this year.

Doug Maarschalk is a trainer, facilitator and coach who uses the principles of intrinsic motivation as the foundation for his work. He has worked with New Zealand businesses in the horticulture, legal, accounting, financial services, real estate and healthcare sectors. 
Read more about the Services Doug provides and the Clients he has worked with.

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