Courtesy of Exceed's Tim Wigham, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Adapting to support team excellence in a virtual workplace, and responding to the needs of an industry in transition' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Process Mining Live Virtual Conference.
Adapting to support team excellence in a virtual workplace, and responding to the needs of an industry in transition
The COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting lockdown forced to change. We did not want a pandemic but we got one all the same. Our response to that change has shown us what is possible when virtual, and it has shown us what is important in general.
We have learned from the experience, and it is valuable to share those learnings in order to adapt and improve together. We need to ensure that we integrate best practices from our previous normal reality and our current virtual reality when we emerge into a new future possibility!
Very excited about our next guest: Team ligand is here with us. He's the head of performance at Accede in Aberdeen, Scotland. He leads a team of performance coaches, who implement and guide improvements, solutions on upstream, drilling, production, and decommissioning works dot org scopes in the energy sector. Team was a Captain in the UK Royal Marines before completing his MBA in Cape Town, South Africa, where he's originally from.
He then specialize in performance coaching for professional teams and became a director. EDX Seed in Scotland in 20 12. Team is also published author and competitive cross theater.
Tim, pleasure to have you with us again. Really looking forward to your presentation. Our global participants are very much interested in your insights on how we can continue to drive great performance in times of uncertainty and rapid change.
Thanks, Josie, and it's great to be here.
So I'm going to share my presentation and looking forward to, uh, talking about this.
When I was discussing participation in this, I was thinking about what would be a relevant topic based on my passion and experience over the last year, and came up with this topic adapting to support team excellence in a virtual workplace and responding to the needs of an energy industry in transition.
So I say an industry in transition.
I've been in the energy sector, or the oil and gas industry, but I would imagine that most people have experienced some kind of transition in your own industry.
So I'm going to break the presentation down into three aspects.
one is, what is team excellence?
From my perspective, the second is, what are the opportunities presented by virtual collaboration, which I'm sure everyone can relate to to some degree. And then how do we achieve continuous process improvement when the only certainty is change?
So what is Team Excellence?
In the year 2000, I was a commander captain helping to restore peace in the West African country of Sierra Leone.
Rebel Army was advancing on freetown, murdering, and Maiming hundreds of innocent civilians along the way.
And my role was to fly onshore from the Commando Karissa HMS Ocean.
Liaised with the spearhead battalion on the ground and then lead my mortar troop of 60 marines as readjusted a number of targets to ensure indirect fire capability.
When the rebels' approached freetown.
During that six week campaign in West Africa, there were many threats and risks outside of our control. But what we could rely on was our training and our trust trust in each other.
Trust in the system and trust in the motivation of the Marines on the ground. In other words, we focused on what we could control to lead a successful defense of the capital.
When I reflect on that situation, I realize how critical it was to sustain the right climate for the troops to deliver excellence in a dangerous place, to manage the mood or mood set for motivation and morale.
Mood is the background music, the ambience, the feeling. We have about an environment. Does it make us feel productive and energetic?
What does it make us feel ignored and lethargic?
In any team environment, one gets a sense of how people behave, How people are treated, and what is the state of morale? This all ties into the team mood, and this is fundamental to the acceleration of team performance, from average, to excellent.
Now, people often ask me about the best initial indicators of a team performance culture based on first impression.
I always answer that it's about the simple basics, good or bad. These indicators are typically representative of the overall performance picture.
The first indicator is whether members of the organization audibly badmouthing management or each other. It's amazing how prevalent this is. And therefore, the absence of negative torque is notable.
The second indicator is whether meetings happen as advertized and on time.
Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to start meetings on time, and to keep meetings effective.
Consistently punctual and valuable meetings are therefore significant.
The third indicator is whether people do what they say they'll do when they say they'll do it.
All too often in congruence is the norm, someone promises to get something done, but then needs constant reminding.
Early delivery on small promises is a massive, positive.
Performance culture has much more complexity, but these initial indicators have served me well for many years.
Here are some of the subtle behavioral indicators of a true team in any setting of a team, much more likely to achieve a high performance culture, based on my observations and experience.
The first element is basic courtesy.
This is such a fundamental one. It manifests in various daily interfaces, such as reaching colleagues when you see them, and responding to communications in a timely fashion.
It needs to be a two-way street. If it feels like one party is constantly having to initiate the courtesy, there is no true team.
The second element is basic trust.
This builds on courtesy.
A true team is formed and stormed to the extent that trust has been earned. It allows for personal growth, and for individual expression to benefit the collective.
If concerns about trust are regularly voiced.
Well, micromanagement is an evidence. There is no true team.
The third element is basic empathy.
This builds on courtesy and trust. It means that team members are interested in the challenges of colleagues, and that they seek to understand different points of view.
If there is no sense that teammates genuinely care or can step into the shoes of others, there is no true team.
The fourth element is basic energy. This is an essential ingredient in any successful team.
Energy can be seen and sensed, as can lethargy an opposite element, synonymous with poor performance and disjointed teams.
If there is a lack of energy, there is no true team, or at least not one, that is likely to achieve high performance.
So bringing it all together, in my experience, true teams consists of courteous individuals with high levels of trust, genuine empathy, and high energy.
These elements can be detected in a relatively short space of time.
Deficiencies in any of these areas will detract from team togetherness and prevent high performance, get the basic elements in place and build a true team.
The language that we use as leaders also influences the team dynamic and human behavior.
Workers and followers conform to the subtle cues of their management.
Words play a major role in team health and team well-being.
two words that can have a disproportionately negative impact on morale and performance are I, and they thankfully, a word that can undo that damage if adopted as a better replacement is weak.
All too often, we're here.
I will decide when it should be a team decision or they messed up. When in fact, we were all involved somehow.
Incredibly, very little is lost, but a huge amount is gained if instead the messages, we messed up and we will decide how to improve together.
I've been on so many projects whether ubiquitous they are to blame that I wonder whether they have ever done anything, right?
How about a switch to a world where the only time we use I, or they, is to say, I made a mistake, or, They did an excellent job.
Otherwise, use, we, too, include, team and togetherness.
Based on the weak cultures I've been privileged to serve. You'll be amazed at the positive impact on morale and performance that the subtle shift can have.
Sir John Whitmore, author of the book, Coaching for Performance, References a superb formula: P equals P minus I Will performance equals potential minus interference. I love the word Interference in this context because it perfectly describes many of the real and imagined obstacles that we allowed to detract from our own and our team's true potential.
The I could also be inefficiency.
Bruce Tuckman devised the forming, storming, norming, performing adjourning model for team progress.
Natural progress to performance can be accelerated with deliberate effort.
The difference between the two curves on the chart in front of you is tolerated, interference, or inefficiency.
If we can remove this interference, we can certainly enhance mood set our own and others.
Interference that I've encountered with frontline teams includes unnecessary meetings, irritating micromanagement, and overwhelming bureaucracy as well as nowadays, unlimited social media Ask anyone affected by these issues about their mood, and you can expect them to give a less than positive response.
I've done some research, and there's an interesting correlation, as I'm indicating here, between the speed at which we capture and close lessons learned on a project. Along with the speed at which we improve as a team to high performance.
So if we have lots of lessons open and we don't get them closed and implemented into governing documents in order to help us plan and perform better next time, our improvement from normal to high performing is much slower than if we addressed the lessons learned, get them closed, get them implemented, and therefore move towards high performance, with limited interference, with much greater efficiency.
Netflix recently released a fascinating series called the Playbook. I watched every episode in one go. It was like intravenous inspiration for me.
The insights from Josie Marine Yo and Patrick Mouratoglou, were especially intriguing because their guidance influenced some of the most egotistical, and talented athletes on the planet.
All five of the episode's provided principles for performance from proven practitioners.
I was then able to analyze these phenomenal pointers and identify trends, while also reflecting on my own playbook for moots at Mastery.
Some say that a corporate team is different to a rig team, which is different from a sports team. A factory floor is different to a shop floor, which is different from a football pitch or a tennis court.
But there is a common denominator, people.
And to get the best out of people is a craft which requires relentless curiosity and infinite service.
I'm an avid reader, drawn to authors like Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, and Matthew Side.
These authors are some of the most respected voices when it comes to what it takes to unlock great.
I learned from them and many others, their findings often reveal further fascinating ideas about how sustainable progress has been made and what we can learn from societies' communities and outliers.
Mastering mood set is particularly important at this present time, when many are working in isolation.
As with locker room inspiration for athletic excellence, the subtle cues for optimal productivity wherever we work are worthy of deliberate focus in order to achieve measurable progress, and, of course, in order to celebrate every small success.
I analyzed the Netflix series for consistency and created a top five informed by the list of 27 ideas.
I got to this set of guidelines, five golden rules for accelerated excellence.
one, start with the truth To always be the underdog, three sees our opportunities four together as a trusting team, and five forward to the finish.
The best quotes of the series for me was, this one from Patrick Mouratoglou: Coaches, tennis superstars, like Serena Williams.
Your body language is telling me everything I need to know.
Body language truly is the language of our mood set.
In his book, The Infinite Game, Simon sinek's chapter on trusting teams should be required reading for, literally, every leader in every workplace, in my view.
He uses excellent examples.
To make exceptional points, one of my favorites, is his reference to the US Navy Seals.
The Navy seals have a great measure to determine the kind of person who belongs in the seals performance on the vertical axis versus, trust on the horizontal.
Performance is about technical competence, trust is about character.
one Ciel apparently described it thus, I may trust you with my life, but do I trust you with my money or my wife?
It is the distinction between battle physical safety and overall psychological safety.
one of the highest performing organizations on the planet prefer as individuals in the bottom right cortile than in the top left because the latter are typically narcissistic and toxic The seal selectric character first.
Trust helps build an elite team, whereas, high performing individuals, only looking out for themselves, endanger a team.
Sinek notes that culture equals values plus behavior.
These are the metrics for trust and performance, how people feel affect how they do their work.
High performing teams start with trust, but this mood set needs to endure over time and that takes awareness and focus.
As a father of three young children myself, working from home due to the covert 19 pandemic in 20 20, well, my wife home-school the kids, and we strove to create the conditions for harmony.
I've probably learned more about community mood set than ever before.
But the learnings were reinforced.
Purpose and belief have been key.
The indicators and elements of a strong team have applied, we language has been a focus, minimizing interference has been critical, and the significance of truth and trust within the golden rules for accelerated excellence have been relevant and clear.
Sustaining excellence in the face of constant challenge and change is a truly fascinating pursuit.
It can be done if we understand how to enable the right mood set in each setting.
So, what are the opportunities presented by virtual collaboration?
Well, Cov at 19 and the resulting lockdown forced a new way of working together.
As with many step changes in history, adversity was the mother of invention or certainly adoption.
If I reflect on our own experience here at Exceed and Aberdeen in the UK, we had video conferencing tools at our disposal but we're not early adopters of the technology as we were still. We're still strong proponents of teamwork and in person collaboration, where possible and where appropriate.
But that said, the lockdown allowed us to embrace the tools we have at our disposal and to conduct some trial and error to see which platform best suited our needs.
The obvious critical requirements from my point of view were as follows: internal collaboration, external client facing presentations, and workshop collaboration.
And then webinars, Webcasts, and podcasts as well.
I'm sure that everyone can reflect and relate to the amount of experience and progress we've made in terms of our universal engagement with virtual collaboration tools, conferences, and indeed, general communication for professional and social purposes.
All things considered our accelerated virtual experience, through force of circumstance, has revealed a number of opportunities to achieve progress and success, where before we would have assumed that we had to be together in the same place to get that work done.
The significant deliverables I want to focus on here, are the Risk Assessments and DevOps, we facilitate on behalf of client project teams, as part of our readiness to execute support ahead of rig operations on upstream campaigns.
We've not delivered close to 10 successful, major virtual workshops for energy companies.
We conduct virtual feedback surveys after every session, so we're building up feedback, ideas from participants as we evolve.
We're applying continuous improvement to each virtual workshop as we go along.
So what are the advantages and opportunities?
Well, we're still delivering a key best practice planning session and the off shore people on the team get their voice to optimize the plans for their rig.
We're eliminating travel risk, time, and cost. Eliminating the risk and exposure to participants traveling exclusively for a planning session said significantly reducing the carbon footprint.
Eliminating the need for multiple facilities, such as hotel, conference room, food, accommodation, entertainment, etcetera.
We've got the ability to dry run virtually in advance, so we don't have to wait for access to the conference facility in order to prove everything up.
We've removed the risk of unexpected interruptions, such as fire alarms and power outages, which can occur in different parts of the world during conferences.
We've got controlled access to who participates.
We can spread the workshop over more time to reduce the intensity on participants who might have business as usual working days. So for example, we could have 4, 3 hour session spread over several days, 3 or 4 days versus two full days. There's only one voice presenting. It's possible to mute everyone as needed. The Q&A can be controlled and interruptions verifications or through the facilitator.
People can participate from home as you're probably doing now or indeed the rig subject to connectivity.
The entire session can be recorded, including the breakout sessions, the group sessions, and and section specific workgroups.
There's no need to print out vast volumes of project information, which is usually in draft form anyway, and subject to change afterwards.
We can control the release of any and all digital documentation.
People are more focused and productive, not necessarily wondering on project time.
We can access a wider group and pull in subject matter experts virtually in the section specific workgroups as needed.
We can ensure redundancy and remove dependency on one person's personal presenter by having another independent network, or clicking dial and meeting, that people can spend time discussing a particular topic.
Data transfer from group leaders. Back to facilitators is digital digital, so it's a much quicker turnaround on the deliverables that we tend to have with our planning workshops.
We've removed the need for transcribing during the discussion. Because we now have a clear recording, which can be used to listen to or, indeed, transcribe later.
We can invite, invite partners and host governments to participate at a very low cost, because we've removed the need for travel, et cetera. So we've learned a lot, and we've realized that there are numerous advantages and opportunities from the virtual workshopping that we've been doing.
So participants are situated at their own workstations, as has been mentioned. They can easily access information required for the discussions during those discussions, and then pull them up on-screen as needed.
And that process a lot smoother, versus how it might have been in a traditional setting, where someone would say, Well, when I get back to the office, I'll find that and send it through to you.
Which would mean that it's then an action which needs to be followed up on later.
Um, with rigorous preparation and cameras on, group discussions can have good engagement.
Acting on solutions, especially the most technical tasks during phases were discussed, and that detail is recorded, so that we can recheck what was discussed, and the technical solutions that we found during discussions.
I think more introverted, people can contribute while feeling less self conscious than perhaps, would have been the case in some of the face-to-face sessions that I facilitated in the in the past.
Now, we can have virtual fun tasks or icebreakers as part of the workshops.
So, for example, escape room is something we've used or the pub quiz type icebreaker where groups get to know each other as people before getting into the technical review of programs, et cetera, File sharing is easier. No one can catch covert or another disease if they're in a virtual meeting and I guess on a lighter note, you can attend your virtual meeting in your pajamas, which is not something we could do more traditionally in the past.
So it's been interesting, And another advantage that we've, we've seen, over the last 6 to 12 months, has access to celebrities, so this guy on screen is Gavin Hastings, he was the Captain of Scotland Rugby. For the best part of 10 years he also led the British Lions Rugby.
came down to Australia and New Zealand in the late eighties early nineties.
And he's got some fantastic transferable learning and suggestions for campaign teams and and can provide some great energizer and something slightly different at the drill, well on paper workshops that we do for upstream oil and gas teams.
So he's sitting at home.
He's been struggling to work because the hospitality sector and eventing and speaking has suffered as a result of covert 19, so bringing these guys into virtual sessions has been invaluable.
And I think having realized this, it's something that we can do more frequently, even post covert when we go back to a more traditional world.
We've seen the use of virtual workshopping for the planning of operations, and then, indeed, the the running of operations And the feedback that we've had from project teams, including an oil rig operation that we're providing people for and supporting in the North Sea at the moment. Is that the, the method of using Microsoft Teams or Zoom or whichever platform platform you might be using is highly effective. The ability for the well Examiner to sit in on the Sessions as an observer is greatly aiding his work when he comes to examine the well notification and the operational risk assessment.
The regulators also liked this approach as it clearly demonstrates a high degree of input of the relevant, internal and external expertise.
To the identification of risk and the prevention and mitigation then put in place.
There are the softer benefits, as well, that these are shorter sessions focused section by section that kept the program can be broken up, as I mentioned earlier, over a number of days or weeks. And that helps ensure people did remain engaged. They also saw quite quickly that their input was valued and incorporated into the next revision of the program.
So, there's no doubt that this still doesn't replace the benefit of face-to-face contact, in terms of some of the belonging, cues and the social interactions, which are important when building a team.
However, by it being a series of shorter sessions, virtual sessions are not just a one-off. We can still build team spirit with the core team who attend a number of these meetings, and it expands the envelope actually of those who feel part of the team, because one can invite more than one might for a normal traditional workshop.
Indeed, if, if, if appropriate, pretty much the entire project team can dial into a virtual workshop to share what the plan is and if not participate, then at least observe and listen to the discussions that are going on.
So, moving on then.
How do we achieve continuous process improvement when the only certainty is change?
The goal of process mining is to turn event data into insights and actions in its simplest form. This has been part of our value proposition to clients for over 10 years now.
Change is outside our control, whereas our response to change is within our control.
Controlling the controllable is is what provides certainty and stability because it becomes familiar over time. Familiar habits start to foster a family feel, and with that comes a sense of focus.
There's a well-known quote, it is not about the plan, it's about the planning.
In the Marines, we used to say no plan survives contact with the enemy. So a good start for any successful team is to get the basics right.
The engine of continuous improvement involves a sense of identity, advance planning, recording the execution.
Reviewing the performance, capturing and applying the lessons learned, and then, celebrating success and recognizing the sacrifices made by the team.
And on your screen as our, our continuous improvement approach when we support upstream teams.
We have readiness to execute, and then an execution wheel of 12 steps that we implement on behalf of leadership teams at the frontline.
10 years ago, we realized the importance of virtual collaboration, as we served campaign teams with personnel spread across 12 times zones.
So in response, 10 years ago or so, we developed our own platform to capture knowledge while tracking progress.
We created a visual dashboard, which you can see here, which allows project stakeholders to access insights into the leading performance indicators, while noting the actions and steps that have been completed by the Frontline team.
We can select between a work breakdown structure view, which has knowledge assets in the relevant cubes. And then, again, few which you can see in front of view which shows a more traditional Gantt progress of our performance.
Capturing data in a logical way is something we can control based on what's happening, reflecting on what we've captured and using double loop learning.
Now, double loop learning is an educational concept and a process that involves teaching people to think more deeply about their own assumptions and beliefs.
So, I always use the example of of dieting, based on one's understanding of nutrition and going on a diet.
one can apply the disciplines of that diet, if, for example, if you're talking about, say, a low fat diet, you can, you can comply with a diet and you can eat accordingly.
But if you then find new information, which convinces you that actually, a high fat diet, is the right diet, would you to be on focus for health or fitness, et cetera? Then your whole paradigm is shifted in terms of how you look at a challenge.
So, double loop learning is an interesting one that we should all be aware of.
And giving everyone a voice is critical, especially now, coming out of covert. A lot of the clients that we're supporting in the North Sea, we're recommending a performance climate assessment where we listened to the concerns and the feedback and input of the wider project stakeholder team so that people feel heard it's particularly important at the moment.
An example of the double loop learning that I've experienced is, we look at all projects with people, process, and technology, But I felt that there's more that could be done with people components, so over the last few years.
Spent many, many hours and days recording my insights of performance and continuous improvement at the front line on these upstream oil and gas projects.
And within the people component, revisited an approach to help people understand how they could master their environment, master performance, and accelerate that mastery around performance belief or mindset performance process or the method that's used. And then performance climate, which is the mood or mood said that I was referring to earlier.
So I think it's always important that we continually look at how we mine information, continually look at the processes that we use to get things done, and I know that that's relevant to the conversations that are taking place as part of this conference.
Comparing like for like from past campaigns helps ensure that we're controlling risks and preventing past mistakes, while also stepping right back and asking whether our whole perspective on the problem we're solving is still relevant. To some degree, this is what has been happening during 2020, during which time we have seen societal, environmental, and digital transitions at scale.
So, for his book, The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle visited and researched eight of the most successful groups in the world over a four year period. And this is what he found.
The top three criteria for success with these build psychological safety, engender trust and belonging.
Share vulnerability, be transparent and show fallibility, and establish purpose. Clearly communicate and enroll others in shared goals.
Research has shown that impactful feedback goes something like this. I'm giving you these comments because I have very high expectations, and I know that you can reach them.
This works, because the belonging cues are all there.
You're part of this group.
This group is special.
We have high standards around here, and I believe you can reach these standards.
This is a safe place where you will feel strong connection, receive honest feedback, and gain genuine perspective.
Good leaders are like film directors using the Zoom feature to focus, as well as to frame perspective, or indeed like conductors of an orchestra helping achieve harmony with diversity.
In summarizing the section on vulnerability coyle reminds of the following.
After action reviews should cover what was intended, what actually happened, and what caused the actual, then, would we do the same or different next time? Potentially run these without leadership and note what emerges. Or if we do have a leader in an after action review. He or she could start by saying, this is how my performance wasn't, perhaps this is where I messed up.
Just to create that vulnerability and that willingness to share.
The brain trust concept, which is used at Pixar amongst other places, involves a group of experts who are appointed to advise a team based on their expert observations and experience. The sessions can be challenging to listen to, but their objectives ...
always enables a positive breakthrough when teams are stuck.
Red teaming war gaming involves a team, not wedded to the plan and represents.
And representatives of all stakeholder groups who challenged the plan in order to find holes and blind spots for breakthrough and improvement. It's a, it's popular in the military and it's now used in the corporate world to good effect.
So finally, high purpose environments teach the following gold nuggets for any aspirant high performing teams.
And I would recommend the Daniel Quills book The Culture Code.
Um, when he talks about high purpose organizations, He talks about naming and ranking priorities, deciding whether you're focused on proficiency or creativity, because those involve slightly different ways of working.
Embracing catchphrases, which can motivate the team, measuring performance, of course, and the best way to do that, using artifacts in the head office, so being proud of artifacts that represent what your organization stands for.
Then, putting a spotlight on a representative, single task, which really sums up the mindset and the methodology of the organization.
So, as I draw to a close there and go back to Joseph for Q and A, just to say, let's continue the conversation I'm on on LinkedIn as indicated there.
And I think that as we emerge from lockdown, it's going to be fascinating to see what sort of hybrid we draw upon to maintain team excellence as we return to, perhaps, a new workplace which draws on the old traditional and the recent virtual to continue to improve how we work together as teams. And how we embrace the ongoing transitions that we're seeing at the moment.
Over to you, Josie.
Tim, as usual, A great, great coverage and view of what it, what it takes to, to achieve excellence? I haven't changed my background here. We're talking about building a culture here, a culture of excellence in what you're talking on, the things that you're discussing. So, for those of you who are, has submitted questions. I, I've already look at the main themes on those questions. Keep submitting them, I keep an eye on the ones coming through, some very tactical things. Just start with Tim. You had a quote there. I think from the Navy seals about no plan survives the direct contact with the enemy, I want to make sure someone asked me, can you repeat what that was?
Well, it's not about the plan, it's about the planning, and then you're right, no plan survives contact with the enemy, So, yeah, both of them, I think, are relevant.
Perfect, no plan, no plan survives contact with the enemy. I think that, that, that was one and someone asked me to repeat.
so than that, and that you cover a lot of different components of, of building this excellence in your teams, and especially in the virtual world that we all live in right now.
I'm curious, one of the questions that came up is about what it takes for organizations and in really leaders to become enduringly great. And, and we actually have run a survey on this recently with global excellence and innovation leaders.
And, to our surprise, maybe the number one item was courage, courage.
So, tell us a little bit about your perspective on courage and why is courage important as we do this things, and what does it even mean in the context of the work that we do? When you look, when you look at building excellence in your team.
What is the, what is the, what is the impact of courage, on, on, on achieving this team excellence?
It's actually our first value, at Exceed, is is Lead with Courage, and, to answer your question, just say to me, courage means honesty, transparency, congruency, and authenticity.
I was reading a McKinsey Report last night, actually, as it happens, which was saying that recent findings from a survey that they've done no, is that psychological safety is the is the most important aspect of an organization as far as people are concerned. And I think that goes hand in hand with courageous leadership.
I think you'll your point about Courage is well made in order to provide psychological safety workforces and teams need to feel that their leaders are leading with, with the right kind of, courage.
And I think over the decades paps over the last 20, 30, 50 years, the perspective on courageous leadership has changed.
Perhaps it used to be slightly more gung ho, autocratic, lead from the front, whereas over time, I feel that that has evolved and transformed into well most call it leading from behind almost it's creating the conditions for others to flourish.
Nelson Mandela, for example, was a great example and proponent of servant leadership. Leading, leading from behind, unless there was danger. He used to say, if there was danger you go to the front. That's leading with courage, because then your team see that you are you're prepared to defend them, and to stand up for them and to be at the forefront.
But otherwise, in general, rather than trying to steal the limelight, the respected leaders that we're seeing now are more stepping back to allow others to grow.
And to come to the front, develop themselves and feel that the S physically and psychologically safe to express their opinion, which will help with innovation.
Absolutely. There is no innovation without trust, with collaborations. Well, I should say sustainable innovation goals can have one offs, right? You can force brute force your way and just certain things. But if you're gonna build a culture that does that consistently, and what in a way that's widespread in the organization, you have to do the things that you're talking about. And I love what you're saying there about. It's this, this blending of the servant leadership and creating an environment where people can demonstrate a little bit more courage because we all know fear of failure is the number-one issue for most people and why they do not step up. So, when you create the psychological safety, if you will, and the systems, you're lowering the threshold a little bit. And at the same time, you kind of encourage people to have more courage and take some risks, but you need to kind of work on both levers, right? You have to kinda lower the threshold.
As you increase individual courage, do you agree with kind of that view of the system?
Yeah, I do, and I'm glad that you mentioned that's a really important point, fear of failure. Allowing people to fail. So I'm glad you brought that up, Josie. You're absolutely spot on. That's a critical part of this conversation. Creating the conditions where people aren't scared to fail.
Now, of course, as we all know, given business imperatives, it's not about saying, Hey, let's all go out there and fail every time.
However, as you said, just say there's a fine line if you can allow your workforce. If you can bring on board people that are smarter than you better than you, it's like they say, if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.
So you need to bring in smart people and equally give them the space to try things.
Allow them to fail because is through failure, we learn. So Mandela, again, used to say, We either win or we learn. So rather than saying failure, we said, Well, that was a learning opportunity. Let's capture it.
Let's process it, and then let's implement the solution, so that we don't repeat that mistake or that, what went wrong. But, yeah, I think I'm glad you mentioned that. Joji 100% agree.
Fear of failure is a blocker to innovation and progress If a leader can help the team not be scared of failure.
But in fact, encourage them to try new things, even if it might result in a learning opportunity, then that is going to be a much better organization in the long run.
That's, that's excellent. Thank you for reinforcing that. The, the, another comment and maybe theme that emerged. It was, you talked about the importance of having energy as part of this of this process and that I think that that caught a draw A lot of attention from different people. And I'll quote one of my, one of my mentors and the and when I say this, but I think a lot of people know who this person is, but he says that, you know, he looks for the right people in the right. People have this combination of integrity intelligence and energy.
But he also says that if they don't have the first one, the next two will kill you. So you have to be very careful. So tell us specifically on energy, what is the role, the energy place in this process? And the, and why does it matter?
Great question. And a number of things come up for me when you ask that. Firstly.
Jim collins's great book, Good to Great.
He talks about level five leaders that have that perfect balance of personal humility and professional will. And professional will, to me, needs to have that energy, that, that, that strong presence.
and that, that magnetic, almost tangible energy that emanates from a leader in an organization.
And more and more research is, is, is exposing the impact and influence that a leader has in any work environment.
And that's even a virtual work environment because body language or intonation in language is still, it can still be perceived in a virtual setting.
And so the mood set the, the influence that someone has on those that work with them, particularly when it comes to energy.
It is almost directly mirrored and reflected and when we realize the influence we have as leaders on our direct reports, on our peers, on our clients, and our families, we really start to observe ourselves, our level of energy, our level of integrity, communication, the example we're setting in a much more productive way. So the point about energy.
yeah, as you say GSA, as your mentor said, you know I mean the importance of the way we are as leaders in terms to how our teams are just cannot be understated an energy. If we want to achieve great things and make great progress, then we need to be leading with a level of energy. If we expect our teams to bring energy to the workplace, to.
I love the way you frame that, Tim, because, and then the energy can be expressed in different ways, right? It's not about being charismatic and being kind of a cheerleader, while some leaders can do well with that. As you mention Servant Leaders, the Level five Leaders, often very quiet, but their energy comes from their incredible drive and consistency with their purpose, and they act in a way that's very consistent with that. So, it's kind of a more of a sub do energy in the way that it's expressed, but it's still very much strong and you can feel it. Do you agree with that? Totally, totally. Totally agreed.
You know, if you look at some of the outstanding entrepreneurs and leaders and founders you know where you are.
Ray Dalio at Bridgewater: you know, his book principles is a fascinating insight. you know, you look at Bill Gates, Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple, a number of the other entrepreneurs, you know and founders.
They They weren't necessarily extrovert or or, or, you know, as you say, cheerleading the organization, perhaps in some cases There were. In other cases there weren't.
It's more about as you say that professional will and that in a determination and purpose to see this thing through too to the end.
Tim, I could talk to you all day long, and forget, there is even an audience here, because, there's lots of great questions that have come up. I could address a few of them, but not all of them. So, thank you so much for talking about this very important topic. Why? We're thinking about technology and collaboration. You know this. This concepts of team excellence is a critical. So, thank you so much for taking the time from Scotland to the world today to share your wisdom and to your point. This is another one of those benefits of the virtual environment, right? We can get experts like Tim now that don't have to travel, just some conference in Houston. We have experts from starting Frankfurt, Germany this morning, Illinois, Dallas, Texas, Aberdeen now in Scotland, altogether here with our global community of more than 2000 global participants.
Do the point again that you made during your presentation, that we're collaborating in new ways now.
Yeah. It's a pleasure. And thanks to you just for continuing to bring us all together and I appreciate your moderation and facilitation and hosting, it's it's been world-class. So yeah, it's been a pleasure being on. Absolute privilege. And I look forward to speaking to you again soon.
Thank you very much, Tim.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's Tim Wigan leader for and the head of performance for X seed.
Uh, leading well deliveries is, is the, is the message from Exceed. And, Jim, great to have you with us. We are going to take a break now, so if you have more questions for Tim, you can go on LinkedIn and post a question there, can make a comment. If he says something that's meaningful to you, do that. So, look under shows that Paris and LinkedIn, for the posting for this conference, and engage in the conversation there, are several of the speakers will return to link to the LinkedIn page and answer questions that you have there.
Now, we're going to take a break, and when we come back, we're gonna wrap up with a tremendous journey on how to advance your digital transformation with process mining, with a true expert, who has been leading in the trenches, you know servant leadership, frontline leadership on, on the making, those things happen for, for his organization. And I'm talking about Anthony Hoffman, who is going to be with us. He's the Senior Operational Excellence Leader at the ..., and he's going to talk about: His journey of 15 years of experience in the operations and electronics, life sciences, aerospace, manufacturing Industries, and how we are evolving now into the usage of process mining in this journey. So, I'll see you back with Anthony at the top of the hour.
Head of Performance,
Tim Wigham grew up in Southern Africa. He served in the British Commandos for eight years between 1992 and 2000 and departed as a Royal Marines Captain after serving on operations in Northern Ireland, West Africa, and the Caucasus.
In 2001, Tim completed his full-time MBA in Cape Town. His electives focused on strategy, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Tim then started a business in South Africa which specialised in SME executive leadership breakaways across a range of industries, to help leaders build strong team cohesion, clear strategy, mission, vision, and authentic company values.
In the sports industry, Tim worked on mental toughness with several of the Springbok rugby players who went on to be World Cup winners in 2007.
Tim is currently the head of performance at Exceed in Aberdeen, Scotland. He has worked as a performance improvement expert in the energy sector since 2007. Exceed has provided performance solutions to over 30 offshore teams, including drilling and decommissioning projects for several Operators in the North Sea. These teams have all achieved exceptional results through their commitment to a proven process which includes a rig-based performance coach.
Tim is married and has three young children. He has lived in Scotland since 2012. His main interests include faith, family, fitness, reading, writing, and learning. He also enjoys blogging about inspiration.
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