Published: July 30th, 2019; By: Judi Hughes
It is hard to stay focused – to always put in that extra effort to achieve the business results we want. As you grow your business things become more complex and staying on track to meet your goals becomes more difficult.
To quote Bob Proctor, “Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the results.”
Business Accountability Teams (BATs) are an effective accountability tool. There is far greater strength from people working together for a common purpose, than from one person working alone. It’s synergy. Teams of aligned people always generate different ideas, simpler actions, and create motivated execution.
Your BAT Team:
The optimum size of a BAT is six business owners. More than six dilutes the time available to work on each other’s business. And, it’s more difficult to build a large group into an effective, cohesive management team supporting each member. Less than six members will have fewer ideas and more limited horizons.
A good cross-section of growing businesses should be represented on each BAT. Do not have competing businesses on the same team. This must be a supportive, non-competitive environment.
While the team is democratic (everyone is equal), it’s wise to select a team leader to ensure sessions run smoothly and stay focused. Rotate this role so business owners have an opportunity to develop and improve their team management skills.
BATs are only as effective as the individual members. Each person must be open and willing to work as a team and to give whatever is required to help colleagues achieve success with their businesses. Specifically, each business owner must:
- Have a documented plan for their business
- Share their plan with the other team members
- Be committed to staying with the team for at least six months
- Keep everything discussed confidential
- Fulfill their obligations to the team
The BAT gets together once a month for three to four hours. Monthly sessions are held during regular business hours at a neutral location; away from all the team members’ places of business. We have found when we break this location rule sessions are open to interruption from day-to-day business activities.
The dates for the sessions are pre-booked for six months. Once the dates are set, they are immovable. Our experience shows that when you start moving team dates, you are interfering with the business schedules of six busy people. That’s disruptive and rarely effective, and in the worst-case scenario, the team drifts apart. Have an agenda and stick to it. Here is the framework for an agenda:
- Positive Focus – what is the one most important positive thing that happened in your business in the last month?
- Accountability – report back on the targets set at the last session. Praise the ones achieved but then focus on the ones that were not. What could have been done to meet these targets?
- Set the Targets – identify and clearly define targets that must be achieved in the next month. Describe why they are critical to your plans. What is the impact of not meeting it?
- Business issues – present any business issues requiring help from the team.
This is a working session and each team member is questioning, probing, giving feedback, and providing ideas. The group is there to help each other achieve targets and overcome hurdles. The single focus is on business success.
A word about targets: If it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed. The targets must be measurable, be sure you have the tools to measure the results. For example, if the target is to achieve a 10% growth in profitability, make sure your financials are current and accurate so you can measure the growth rate. Targets must also be specific. Increasing sales is not a specific target – adding two new clients is!
Meeting once a month may not be the only BAT activity. Team members should be encouraged to work together outside of the regular session. The Power of Synergy resulting from a dedicated team with a common focus is enormous.