CFRI 2016

The Right Balance Between Motivating and Teaming

In a time where CFOs see margins tighter than ever, and where businesses are struggling to differentiate themselves and add value in the marketplace, we need to harness as much of the collective intelligence, energy, and diversity that our people offer.

More often than not, happy endings usually occur when there is a collective team effort. But in many companies, compensation is based on individual performance against predetermined goals.  So how do you get the best of both worlds: employees performing at a high level and working together as a team?

The majority of businesses try to make collaboration a key priority.  And most of the time, it looks like it is happening. You’ll see long meetings, stakeholders copied on emails and shared IT work space.  But if you look deeper, it might not be what is seems.  Team meetings can be public shows, with little to show for in terms of outcomes.

Psychology says that most of our behavior is triggered and shaped by the situation we are in rather than our personality – counter intuitive in cultures where we place a great deal of emphasis on individual achievement and personality.

The average job description tells us what our job is, and what it isn’t. There are goals and targets to meet, and you are judged by the company’s financial performance.  And yet ultimate satisfaction requires that the whole business pulls together – even if that means we neglect our ‘job’ at times to support a colleague.

One way to find balance is to develop and instill collaborative decision making. “Red Teaming” is essentially a set of contrarian techniques that force decision making groups to challenge their assumptions, interests and motives. It separates egos from issues – a difficult thing to do when so much of our personal interests can become locked into specific projects or initiatives.

Collaborative decision making tools should be embedded into every company, as environments are created where the diversity of perspective, experience and opinion can be applied directly to the issues at hand.

Melissa Vuernick is Executive Director, Leadership and Professional Development US, Kaplan. 

Register for FEI CFRI 2016 today to learn how to address the struggle between the individual agenda versus team collaboration mindset CFOs face today. Hear practical and effective ways to break through the cycle, creating a truly collaborative decision-making culture.