GOMO Management Workshop “Power of the Team”
On the 27th of July, as part of his month-long visit to the GOMO office in Pune, India our CEO Gabriel Ghavami conducted a training workshop for the Management & Strategy teams.
A vision for you, me and us
We started the day by asking each person what motivates them to work and what they were expecting from the day. From improving skills to making an impact, each individual’s motivation or ‘why’ was distinct and unique, as it should be. Understanding the reason we do something can help reduce stress. Gabriel explained, “When we do not have a clear goal and purpose, we get stressed. Our brains respond to that stress and we start to make poor decisions. If you know ‘why’ you are doing something, you can stay focused even if you end up working long hours on a particular day. Stress is not a result of hard work, it’s a response to working hard without a purpose.”
GOMO’s vision is, “To become the best pull marketing agency in Europe” and our mission is to, “Build a company we can be proud of every day by challenging existing marketing conventions.”
It’s important for all GOMOites to understand the company vision but that is only half of the discussion. The other half of the discussion is helping team members understand what their responsibilities are and how they can contribute to the company vision.
We believe in author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and use the why>what>how philosophy in our organization. Watch the video below to learn more about the Golden Circle:
A company’s vision can help team members understand the ‘why’ of the Golden Circle when it comes to their individual motivation. But even the best visions will be ineffective if managers do not understand the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their role. OKRs (Objectives and key results) is a method of setting goals that are used by companies like Google, Amazon, Accenture, and others. OKRs are an effective tool to scale down a company’s vision and help managers understand the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their role.
The objectives set by the OKR method have four distinct features, they are:
- Action Oriented
- and Inspirational
Gabriel encouraged the GOMOites in the room to set OKRs for their projects and even in their personal lives. Objectives that are inspiring, tangible, specific and most importantly are time-bound and measurable.
A company’s vision is often lofty and large. Thinking about the vision can feel overwhelming when you are trying to find your focus on a day-to-day basis. A clear objective addresses the ‘what’ of the Golden Circle and provides individuals with an attainable purpose. Watch the video below to learn more about the OKR methodology:
Key Results are an integral part of the OKR methodology, they address the ‘how’ of the Golden Circle. They help individuals understand how they are going to achieve their objectives and measure the outcome. This can help instill a sense of accomplishment. After agreeing to set individual OKRs we went down to Sen5es for lunch where we moved on to lighter topics of discussion like Pune culture, music, vada pav and the amount of time we spend in our daily commute.
Teamwork makes the dream work
After lunch Gabriel discussed teamwork. He used the analogy of a boat to explain the concept of trusting the power of the team. Every person on a boat has a specific job to do. If each person does their part, things will go smoothly and without chaos. The same concept applies to teamwork at an organizational level. Each person in the workshop has a role to play; Gabriel asked us to understand what that role is and make sure we perform it to the best of our ability. We should trust that other team members are doing the same. Trust gets broken when team members don’t do their part. In such a situation people start to worry about what others are doing. They are less focused on their own role. A boat is more likely to capsize if the Captain is down in the engine room, checking on the Engineer instead of focusing on his duties on the bridge.
We’re in the H2H business
We were all familiar with the concepts of B2C and B2B businesses, Gabriel introduced us to the concept of H2H i.e human-to-human. All businesses have some form of business-to-human interaction but the human-to-human is more true for service-based businesses like GOMO Group. The success of our endeavors depends on how well we are able to understand and connect with the human stakeholder we are interacting with. We need to keep this in mind when thinking about team members as well as clients. Often we get too focused on management and organizational conventions and forget that we are actually interacting with humans. Humans have their own objectives and motivations. For a successful relationship, we need to understand the stakeholders and figure out how we can add value to their objective. This is why team members should share information about their OKRs with all stakeholders in the organization.
“The success of our endeavors depends on how well we are able to understand and connect with the human stakeholder we are interacting with” – Gabriel Ghavami
Start by understanding the clients’ immortality project, the objective they need to achieve to be successful in their work. Our role is to then figure out how we can add value and be part of the mechanism that helps our clients achieve their objectives. If we can do this successfully we will build successful partnerships and become trusted advisors. Approaching interactions from an H2H point of view also makes communication and collaboration more effective.
Always start with the ‘why’
It was important for Gabriel to not only discuss concepts with the team but actually empower them to implement change in the organization. Throughout the day Gabriel encouraged open discussion in the group. An interesting question came from one of our Management Associates, “Conceptually I understand the power of the team and knowing our role, but expectations change over time, how should I go about understanding my role for each client? Clients, that are in different stages of their lifecycle?”
The answer to this question was quite straight forward, “Do what you just did, ask questions. Understand the objective and ask how you can add value. As time goes on, ask questions again. Our relationship with our clients is a continuous process, we do not engage in a project basis. This is why you need to keep communication open.”
Armed with all the knowledge we had gained during the day we closed the workshop with a round of drinks, each of us eager to start the next week and put everything we had learned to use.
- No matter what you do you will at all times have to have a human-to-human approach in your work
- Understand your role, the expectations of the team, and how you can add value
- Don’t assume, ask questions
As an individual, I like to get involved whenever I see a need for something to be done. I used to think that this was a good habit to have. The workshop helped me understand that I should take a minute, evaluate where I can add the most value and trust that the right person will step in to do what needs to be done.