The Art of Strengths Coaching

R is for The Rolling Contract Questions

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There are many ways to ensure you keep giving great service to both your internal and external customers. One approach is to imagine that you are on a six month rolling contract that, in order to be extended, has to be signed off by your key stakeholders every month.

How would you behave in the situation? Would you continue to do what you are doing now or would you behave differently? What would you do to increase the chances of the stakeholders extending the rolling contract?

You can use this approach as an individual contributor to ensure you remain on top of your game. You can also use it to ensure a team continues to deliver the goods. Let’s explore this latter approach.

Imagine you are a leader. You have a good team, but they need to become even more customer focused.

People need to recognise that, in the new world of work, there are no jobs anymore, there are only projects. Professionals are only as good as their present project and the success they deliver.

Here is an exercise that you can use to encourage the individuals and the whole team to be even more professional.

You can invite people to answer
the rolling contract questions

Gather the team together and ask them to tackle the Rolling Contract exercise. You may want to say something like:

Imagine we have each put £100k into the kitty and this team is our own business. We have got a six month rolling contract with our present organisation.

But there is a challenge. The rolling contract must be signed off every month by our key stakeholders in order to be extended.

How would we behave? Knowing the contract could come to an end in 6 months, would we behave any differently?

Remember, it is our money and our mortgages. Would we get closer to our stakeholders, make clearer contracts and report successes. Would we anticipate future challenges and business opportunities? What else would we do to proactively manage our stakeholders and help them to achieve success?

Take 15 minutes to brainstorm what we would do if we wanted to keep extending our six month rolling contract.

If you wish, tackling the exercise on this theme. Gather your team together and explain the concept of the rolling contract.

Invite people to describe the specific things they would do if they wanted such a contract extended. They can do the following exercise.

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You can implement the ideas that
emerge from the rolling contract questions

Peak performers aim to stay ahead of the game. They continually focus on the issues that are in the Green, Amber and Red Zones. The Rolling Contract exercise can be used as a similar vehicle for developing a sense of urgency. For information, here are the themes covered by the zones exercise.

The Green Zone

These are the things that are going well. It is important to keep building on these things. For example, giving even more attention to customers who like you may result in creating even more business.

When doing the zone exercise, people list what is presently in the green zone. They also describe how to maintain or improve these things.

The Amber Zone

These are the things where there are warning signs or need improvement. People can list what is presently in the Amber Zone. They can also describe how to improve these things.

The Red Zone

These are the things that are going badly. They need radical improvements or key decisions to be taken. People can list what is presently in the Red Zone. They can also describe how to improve these things.

Let’s imagine your team has done the Rolling Contract exercise. Gather all the suggestions, sort these into themes and discuss what has emerged.

Looking at the ideas, settle on those the team want to implement. Consider the pluses and minuses of pursuing these strategies. Build on the pluses and minimise the minuses.

Get owners for the implementing the actions. You can then provide the necessary support and encourage people to get some quick successes. Repeat the rolling contract question during team meetings and one-to-one sessions.

If you wish, invite people to complete the following exercise.

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You can encourage individuals to
consider what they personally would
do if they were on a rolling contract

Great teams are made up of people who take responsibility and are committed to constant improvement. If appropriate, ask each person:

If you were on a six month rolling contract that had to be signed off every month, how would you behave?

Even the most professional person will find some ways to improve their performance. Encourage them to translate these ideas into action.

Institutions frequently give double messages. On the one hand they say: “Be quick, agile and think for yourself.”

On the other hand they say: “Let us do the thinking for you.” People can become inward facing and lose the ability to live off their wits.

The rolling contract questions aim to reignite people’s sense of urgency and increase their customer focus. Invite each person to do the following exercise. They can then continue to deliver success for both themselves and other people.

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