By Tony Rhoades, Founder and CEO: At GroundWOW, everyone knows our company journey is also their personal journey. That’s important to us. We don’t let even a single week go by without reviewing it against our shared goals. An activity taking just a few minutes provides a vital ‘climate check’ on the environment in our business. We recognise that our people are our ‘living dashboard’ – a powerful symbol of organisational health if you know how to read it.
So, at 3pm every Friday, each team member reviews the week in terms of (1) successes, (2) failures, (3) lessons, and (4) makes a shout-out to a teammate that’s gone over and above the call. Going over and above isn’t just about intensity, innovation, or intrapreneurship. In fact, it’s quite often about the small things that enhance everyone’s experience of the business.
As a hands-on CEO, I traditionally go last – a kind of unifying rallying call, being thankful for our privileged position, and sharing new insights from the market arising that week (be that winning awards, identifying new business or strategic alliances, and/or announcing upcoming important and exciting goals or milestones). Brendan Smith, after being in the company for just a few months, nicknamed this the State of the Nation address. I like that.
A few weeks ago, however, I decided to mix things up to give everyone the chance to deliver the State of the Nation address… but from their perspective. Since Brendan Smith created the nickname, I asked him to go first. After a noticeable ‘gulp’, he agreed, and the following week delivered a fantastic piece. Joining us from a very senior responsible appointment in Aerospace, he chose to benchmark us against World Class aerospace firms, and in doing so complemented the technical and managerial pillars underpinning our business.
On Friday this week, Sam Cornish-Evans, our multi-talented complex-systems lead engineer and CTO, took us on a retrospective look at our journey through his eyes, reviewing milestones in our development with photographs and videos. Of course, I know the journey. I’ve been there for every step – or so I thought – but to see it from his perspective was nothing short of genius. It was inspirational, incredibly motivational, and sometimes even a bit emotional. The engagement in the team was fascinating to watch (despite all being on a video call). Yes, we’ve built World first autonomous vehicle technology, but we’ve also built something else equally as valuable – a true team spirit. Watching the effect Sam’s storytelling had on the team was like witnessing an incredible invisible glue permeate throughout an already tight team to bond each one of them even stronger together than before.
I can’t wait to see what comes next from our powerful and capable GroundWOW team. It’s a pleasure working with them all. People say that great teams achieve their goals by recognising they’re standing on the shoulders of giants. That’s true, we build on what’s gone before by looking at the relevant environment and first asking “why”. But I also think we achieve our fullest potential by recognising that we stand shoulder to shoulder everyday with the giants in our teams. When we recognise that everyone is a giant in their own right, with a unique perspective, we harness the power from every facet in the business. When you do that, you really get to zero in on the developments necessary and leverage the great ideas that move us forward.
Looking forward to the next instalment and learning more from our ‘living dashboard’.
Do you listen to your living dashboard regularly enough?