Engineering, Construction and Industrial Industries

Influential Leadership: Choosing The Right Members
For Your Team

Facilitated Workshops and MeetingsMarch 24, 2014

The selection of your leadership team is vital to the success of your company. Good leaders tend to be the early adopters and first movers and shakers. Moreover, it is critically important to fill your team with influencers that are highly trustworthy and respected.

Curiously enough, one respected project leader can create conditions that compel the rest to act in both positive and negative ways. Influential leaders generally hold high stakes conversations and model and support the findings, results and outcome of the project.

Our intention here is to harness peer pressure. No source is more powerful and useful than the persuasion of the right people who make up the worker networks. Eighty five percent of the population will not accept, believe or adopt new practices or solutions until the leaders do. This critical choice then has amazing power and will directly affect the outcome of your capital projects.

The most important aspect of being successful in our Continuous Improvement Process (CIP®) is the choice of the team members. (Read our previous article, Your Program and/or Project Delivery Performance May Be "Stuck in the Past", for an overview of CIP®)

Who participates and conducts the CIP® planning and what are the roles?

The stakeholders that are typically active in this process are key client representatives including program, and project managers, and concomitant representatives from us - including regional representation from quality, safety, MOPs, business and operational sponsors. In most cases it is important to have team members from groups who have knowledge or access to knowledge of competitive market pressures, new practices and processes, technologies, etc. This will enhance the output and speed of the meeting. Corporate support is available to provide up-front planning and actual facilitation of the effort, and support the leadership of the planning effort. It is hoped that subsequent efforts will be self-supported from their own internal groups, having gained the experience from the initial effort.

What other stakeholders should be involved?

The key to making the CIP® process a success is to include members of executive management of both organizations who participate from a sponsorship and active support perspective. The outcome of the CIP® generally involves strategic changes. As a consequence, most strategic changes require the approval, barrier removal and support of executive management, and generally, these individuals have the authority to approve the changes.

The executive management group must be kept fully in the loop and engage with what is being proposed. This is a critical success factor of your capital projects and overall success of your company.

Quality selection of your team members is vital.

Every so often, it seems that the selection of the team members is an overlooked element in the CIP® process. People seem to be just too busy with other things and consequently we fall into the trap of accepting whoever is reasonably available. It’s not so important that they currently hold a managerial position; more importantly is that they are known for their ability as strong influential leaders.

These types of leaders assure that their fellow workers and colleagues feel praised, emotionally connected and encouraged by what is being proposed or is bubbling up through the rumor grapevine. Good leaders are viewed as knowledgeable about the task at hand and they tend to stay connected to their area of expertise as well as maintain relationships with people they have worked with in the past, as well as current peers. They have what people refer to today as a wealth of social capital.

The time and effort put into recruiting the right leaders to the team is more than worth it. They will bring exponential value to the outcome of your projects, create solidarity and turn the tide of compliance.

Under the right conditions, groups are remarkably smarter than the smartest person among them. This in combination with the selection of influence leadership can affect great change within an organization.