Keys to a Winning Team: Part 4

Keys to a Winning Team: Part 4


We’ve discussed thus far in this series that the keys to a winning team are as follows:

  1. Strong Leadership
  2. Common Goal
  3. Rules of the Game
  4. Action Plan

The fifth characteristic of a successful team is Support Risk Taking.

In this vlog, we share a real-world example of a client who intentionally took a risk to foster a culture of continuous improvement at his organization.

Watch the vlog now to learn of his action’s consequences!


All right, welcome back, we left off at ‘Supporting Risk-Taking’. In the prior blog, we walked through what the game plan was for the shutdown on a piece of equipment, and how it turned the whole thing into an experiment. 

And there’s a cool story about that toolbox I introduced in the last segment, and it directly relates to risk-taking. So first of all, Chris, once the team that identified the five tasks that we’re going to have a toolbox for, he went off, and for several months, built a set of five, amazing toolboxes, each one custom-designed for a task on the critical chain of events for the shutdown. 

Alright, there’s a form of risk-taking saying, “Hey, we trust you, you’re good at what you do. Go do it”. And Chris came through in a huge way. And he came through in a way that was absolutely freakin’ brilliant! This toolbox here was, you know, from a mechanic’s standpoint, from a mechanic who never had the parts, they never had the tools they needed to have this sitting right there next to them while they’re working on a critical piece of equipment. I mean, that was a game-changer. It was huge. And, and Chris, to his amazing credit, understood that the process we wanted to start would end if he didn’t do an interesting thing. 

Okay, so remember, we’re trying to do PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT. Here’s the plan, they executed, and Chris leads a meeting where they are looking at the toolbox and saying, What can we do better? Now, they’ve gone from nothing and working in a dismal workplace dark, dirty, without what you need. 

And by the way, when you don’t have what you need, it’s not like 100 feet away. It’s 1000s of steps away, up and downstairs. I mean, it’s horrendous. And so here, the team is sitting there that executed this task, and Chris is going, so what can we do better? And everyone’s like, are you kidding, man? This thing was phenomenal. Nothing! I mean, it was just amazing. 

And Chris was like, No, no, there’s got to be something. There’s got to be something. And finally, one of the mechanics raised his hand and says, Well, actually, Chris, you left out a key part. And we really need that key part. We were talking to Chris later he goes, Yeah, you see, and he opens up, and there’s foam in these drawers right. And he pulls out the foam after the meeting, and everybody’s left. He says, here’s the part! Clump. So he intentionally, and this is brilliant. 

Talk about taking a risk, he intentionally left that part out, so that the team could easily identify something that was missing. And here’s the great part. As soon as Chris said, “Oh, my goodness, you’re right, I forgot that, I will take care of that next time”. Then another person goes and says, “Well, you know, we actually didn’t have any place to put the dirty parts back that we took out, we didn’t want to put them in the foam and, and make the toolbox dirty for next time, so I really didn’t know what to do with them. 

So we could use a pallet to put those things on”. Oh, okay, so we’ll add a pallet to it. And garbage bags, and there were certain materials. And so by Chris taking a risk and setting it up so that it would prime the pump, the CHECK part would actually lead to ACTion, he set in motion, just an amazing discussion. And these toolboxes got better and better and better through time. And so, man, when you have a team don’t dictate how they work, because they’ll come through and surprise you in the most amazing ways. 

So that leads us directly into ‘100%, Involvement and Inclusion’. And that will be the topic of our next blog. And so have a great day and we’ll talk to you again soon.

Rick Phelps coaches business owners and their leadership teams to create and sustain cultures and systems with the goal of providing spectacular results.

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