By Wayne Findlay, CEO
As I write this I’m sitting in a café in Auckland watching the New Zealand Short Course Swim Championships. The venue where it is held is called the Millennium Pool which is a facility operated by High Performance Sport New Zealand.
That got me thinking, what is High Performance and what does a High Performance Team (HPT) look like? Looking at the team and the set up we have at The Back Room I truly believe we have all the characteristics of a High Performing Team.
When I think of a High Performing Team I look at its parts and the roles of the individuals. I have broken this down into five characteristics:
1. A sense of purpose
An HPT knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it. When we put this in context with The Back Room we have a clear purpose – Creating Efficiencies by connecting Global Talent. What we do is changing the way accounting and bookkeeping is being done worldwide and we are at the coal face of change in the industry. It’s exciting where this can go for us as a team and also for the staff as individuals.
2. Open communication
An HPT has open, honest and robust discussions and everyone feels they can contribute safely. This is very important to me and everyone in The Back Room team should feel like they can contribute to our success and also contribute with suggestions with clients to improve efficiencies
3. Trust and mutual respect
A team that is high performing has high levels of trust between members. They respect each other and what they can potentially bring to the team. This ties in with one of our key values for The Back Room which is respect – respect of other employees, employers and also clients. One thing to note is to first get respect, you must have trust!
4. Shared leadership
A leader of an HPT is willing to share leadership. They are willing to defer to members of the team and use collaborative leadership practices when they are required. There are two aspects of this at The Back Room. We have our leadership team at TBR who can effectively delegate tasks to their team; and also our accountants and bookkeepers who are part of a team with clients who should be able to lead their respective teams and share some of that responsibility effectively.
5. Effective working procedures
The HPT looks for better, faster, and quicker ways to get their work done. If a procedure isn’t working, they look for another way. This was a strong characteristic of the accounting firm we used to own, we were always looking at ways to improve our systems and workflows and this is something you will see happening at The Back Room. We are strong believers in Kaizen (a Japanese concept of continuous improvement). If there was software or a system that could do things better then we would look at it. This is still prevalent in The Back Room with some of the new software implemented.
So… when we meet with colleagues, friends and family we can hold our heads up high and say to them that we are part of a High Performing Team called THE BACK ROOM!