1. Self Management is About Committing Your Authentic Self!
Vihra – Over the course of this last five months I have realised more and more, that it’s not about the place we are, or the mediums we use to communicate and connect, rather, it’s about commitment to a process. Of course, this includes choosing the right software, practices, process and bringing a very strong team spirit to the mix… to be in that team and learn from each other.
However, to do all of this and be successful at it, requires that you bring your authentic-self to the team. This makes the process so much fun! There are also moments when it’s not fun, but this is the time we have to challenge ourselves to go beyond. I recall a time when I was responsible for bringing together our first online course presentation. Wanting to offer everyone the opportunity to contribute, I allowed myself to be taken in directions that I knew to be contrary to our success. Because we were just getting to know and work with each other, I was hesitant to speak out and as a result, well, you can say we didn’t produce our best result.
This however was a turning point for me and I was determined to share this with the team. It was met with much support and we have since adopted the processes necessary so that this will not happen again. Receiving role ownership has really helped me here. Taking advice was great, but owning the role, I am now empowered to decide what content gets into the presentation and what doesn’t. Overall it was a very positive outcome. Our experiences feels like university… the university of life, but it is really great!
2. Clarification is Key!
Jonas – Clarifying roles and in whose court the ball is lying, is critical to the way in which we function. We have benefited greatly from investing the time to sort this out. In the beginning we were faced with many unnecessary tensions, because in our effort to produce an offering, we got caught up in the actions and didn’t take the opportunity to define the structures that we needed to support our roles and responsibilities. Many people believe that self management is about everything organising itself. Without the right set of role defining processes, supporting structures and tools for execution, self management may not be achieved.
Adding to this, the challenges of having to run our business almost exclusively from a remote online perspective only strengthens the need to be organised. We learnt this from when we invested in developing an online course. While the course itself was only 90 minutes to deliver, the efforts that we had to go to because we did not clearly define our roles, cost us days in lost time and additional tensions and frustrations. We can see the funny side of it now, but when we had a last minute suggestion that we change a presentation format and the language in which it is delivered, only moments before it was to be presented, give us moments to laugh at now, but at the time it was quite stressful to the moderator.
Overall, constantly testing the waters of our communication and clarifying what people’s understanding of things and situations are, as well as having the right tools and processes, have been the greatest strategic assistance in our ongoing journey towards self management.
3. Self Management is something we practice everyday!
Naomi – Our business is to assist people to get a sense of purpose and understanding of why they should invest in the enlivening of their organisations. For me, this means not only practicing self management everyday in our working lives, but understanding the underlying meaning… for our team it helped to clarify our roles and even more important to sense into what our collective purpose is, the reasons and benefits for investing in it!
In the beginning being spread over different countries made it somewhat difficult, therefore having patience and also meeting each other physically has been an important aspect. I believe that we made a great leap forward once we decided what aspects of self management we adopt, what process we use and that we choose to commit to be in learning as a team. Take for instance our weekly tactical meeting and improving the way we work through governance meetings. I really like those meetings because I like to get a weekly update on where we stand with our different roles and perspectives of our venture.
It feels that we are continuously growing our capacity as a team and the constant sharing of information becomes strategic to our ongoing development.
In rotating the hosting, everyone gets the experience of moderating, assisting and being an integral part of our venture’s growth and development. We are getting into a flow due to the everyday practice, and we are all benefiting from this experience!
4. It’s About Respect and Acknowledging Everyone’s Contribution Equitably.
George – Having happily left behind over twenty years of working in organisations driven solely by year on year revenue growth mentalities, where sales and sales performance were the truest indicators of success, it was the principals of Self Management applied to our fledgling venture, that was the revitalising change enticing me back to professional working life.
Professional sales roles in many of the organisations in which I worked, came with a level of status. Expressions such as “Sales is King!” and “If we don’t sell, we can all shut shop and go home” carried with them an heir of privilege. In this respect, in the past, I was personally uncomfortable that the contributions of key team members to the functioning of the overall business, were often greatly undervalued and under appreciated. At the same time, it was a double edged sword. “You are only as good as your last sale.” and “What have you sold today?” were always the expressions with which we were beaten over the head with.
This journey towards Self Management has allowed everyone to not only understand what their roles are and how they impact the course of our journey, but also to demonstrate the interconnected nature of our collective success as a team. It has created a transparency that is not only genius in its simplicity, but entices everyone to engage wholly in the practice! In this way, it sets the stage for responsibility and reward to be shared and distributed equitably. These are values that we hold to be true!