Are you building a winning team?

“Are you building a winning team?”  It seems like a strange question coming from a technology company whose focus is in workflow automation, AI, and business intelligence, but it’s actually quite related to what we do for our clients on a daily basis.

Recently, Sherwood Chamberlain gathered to re-align and tweak our vision, mission, and goals.  This gathering, like every other gathering, spent quite a bit of time focusing on team building and how we can help each other and our clients to achieve more.  In this post, we’d like to share with you one of key thought-provoking questions asked by our VP of Client Development, Luke Kumanchik.

Our mindset

First, it’s important to understand that our mindset behind technology is that systems allow us to focus on people – their big ideas, their greatest struggles, and the opportunities surrounding those struggles.  Essentially, we’re concerned with the question, “How can we be both catalyst and bridge builder of dreams to reality?”

What can the NBA teach us about practice?

What Luke brought up in our gathering was an observation about sports and team achievement.  He observed that the quality of play throughout an NBA season doesn’t change much.  Generally, the team deemed good, bad, or great at the beginning of the season performs as expected.  Yet, whether a team is good, bad, or great can change quite a bit from one year to the next.

Compare this to the NFL, where there is a lot variance in play quality throughout the season and greater still from one to the next.  A good, bad, or great team often under- or over-performs during the season and can turn around expectations from one year to the next quite easily.

Why don’t NBA teams improve as much as NFL teams during the season?

Now, there are a few possibilities for why this is.  One reason is that there are more players on a team and, another, is that injuries may occur at a greater rate in the NFL, a more contact-heavy sport.  A third possibility is that the NFL has far more practices both during the season and in between.

If you think about it, more players and injuries creates more chaos and a dependence on others.  So, you’d expect a lot of variance.  You’d also expect that the better a team is at practicing, at creating depth on a team, the more they will outperform the rest whose skills lag behind.  Making good use of practice compared to the competition matters greatly.  ‘Practice makes perfect’, as they say.

Practice and how it effects our business

If this is true, we can draw some conclusions about our own teams and businesses:  1) Playing isn’t practicing and 2) Our businesses aren’t going to build new skills at any appreciable rate.  If this were basketball, we’d conclude that we aren’t going to get better without a new talent acquisition.  (Time to ask yourself just how good are you at attracting and keeping great talent – new employees and vendors alike.)

Developing talent internally

Of course, our interest is in developing talent internally, for ourselves, and externally, for our clients.  Our vision is a world of human excellence through business technology.  Even if it weren’t,  from a dollars and cents viewpoint, it’s the right thing to do:  it’s cheaper and staff tends to stay.  Team members who know you care about them contribute more and care for their clients better.

But, then, the question becomes, “How do you plan to build a winning team (to practice) when the season is 365 days a year?”

Our answer has two parts.  First, you’ll probably want to work with a business coach.  Our leadership works with Doug Barra of ActionCOACH.  He and his team are second to none at helping us to develop training plans customized for our team members.  Second, automation.  One reason we work with Doug is because his mantra is to, “Systemize the routine, humanize the rest.”  The only way your business will have time to practice is if they aren’t busy with “paperwork.” A business coach will help you develop your talent and teams, while automation tools give you the time to develop a winning team.

Take the next step with automation

Contact us to begin using automation to free your team to develop new skills, improve client satisfaction, and close more sales, reach out to us.  We work with businesses in the Legal and Construction industries in the South Florida area.  You may always contact us via email, by phone at (888) 967-7768 x2, or via our contact page.  We look forward to speaking with you.

That’s cool, but will it work for you?

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” is an oft-repeated phrase in business.  You learned long ago not to believe the hype. But when are marketers going to understand that hype works against them while case studies create converts?

Google Duplex:  Another failed Wow?

Google Duplex was announced to the world earlier this week. The on-stage demonstration is highly compelling: an AI places a phone call, impersonates a human, and successfully negotiates scheduling an appointment with a real-life human.  Wow.

Except, Google has wowed us before only to fail its delivery.

In 2017, Google’s Pixels Buds wow’d us with instant translation.  Eight months later, the product seems more like a test run than anything truly functional. In 2012, Google Glass showed us a new way of looking at the world with the aid of augmented reality, only to be shutdown three years later.

The reason for the failure is simple:  Google promoted a gimmick.

Fall in love with the problem, not the product

It’s said, “Fall in love with the problem, not the product.”  The reason is simple:  When you understand the problem, you design everything around solving it.  Anyone with that problem immediately understands its value – and, once it’s in their hands, it’s even easier to prove it.  You don’t waste effort trying to convince people it’s cool and you don’t generate dissatisfaction when it isn’t.

This is made clear when you consider Google’s limited relaunch of Google Glass with select partners.  Each partnership focused in on select activities and developed solutions to meet those specific needs.  The result is radically improve efficiencies that will force the rest of the market to adopt the technology sooner rather than later.  This is the value of proven case studies over gimmick marketing.

How to cut through the hype

A huge take-away from the Google Glass story is that hype isn’t very useful, but that doesn’t mean the product itself isn’t useful.  The difficulty you face in business is in discerning whether the product works for you.  To find the answer can be extremely difficult, costly, and time-consuming.

That’s why we cut through the hype on behalf of our clients with real case studies.

We make it our responsibility to learn your workflows and investigate ways to improve them.  We use our status as a technology provider to demo products and partner with designers to perform case studies.  That way, we can cut through the hype and find what truly works best for our clients.

Sherwood Chamberlain helps businesses in the Legal, Construction, and Non-Profit industries to save time and scale for growth easily.  If you’re looking to partner with a technology provider dedicated to making your vision a reality, we’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment, contact us, or send us an email at sales@sherwoodchamberlain.com.