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One Team, One Score

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One team, one score was not a concept my board of directors and I understood when we started developing organizational goals 5 years ago. When I started as General Manager, the entire company was siloed into business/product line units with no or very little cross collaboration. So, the board and I decided we needed to implement bonus plans for the managers to encourage them to work together.

Here’s where we failed…

We made these awesome spreadsheets that calculated all the ways the managers could obtain a bonus. The first section was for their individual contributions which was sales/revenue and personal development related. This portion was weighted pretty heavily.

Then, there was an area on how well their physical site location did meeting their goal.

Finally, there was a larger bonus for the whole company doing well.

What do you think happened?

Most of them met their individual goals as far as sales and development went. Easy money.

Only one site met its overall goal.

No one was paid on the company goal.

The next year, I removed all the individual goals with the exception of each salesman’s revenue target. The individual revenue target was also less of the overall goal. We kept the site and overall company goals but beefed them up. 

The result…

Same old, same old. Not much more collaboration between the business/product line units than before.

What next?

One WIG (Wildly Important Goal) for the company. Every manager was tasked with figuring out which battle they would fight to help us win the war. Success!!

Originally, I found that most leaders were more concerned about their department/team than they were about the whole company collectively. Why is that? Distractions like individual career development/compensation, budget allocations or ego often got in the way. There was also not an understanding of the connection between the decisions they made and how that would impact the entire organization.

When the organization was given one WIG, I finally had everyone swimming in the same direction. We started asking questions and analyzing how changing one piece would affect the up stream and down stream operations. We learned more about everyone’s work and how it contributed to the overall picture.

Now, our leadership team can see problems coming before they are big issues. We all pitch in and say, “Alright. This product line is seeing a pullback in orders. Let’s all put our focus there and get it back on track.” No matter what we all have going on in our individual responsibility areas, we pitch in to help so that the success of the entire organization is not jeopardized.

Are your bonus plans netting you the returns you were expecting? Does your team understand they are one team with one score?

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