Skip to main content

Did you hear the one about the British rowing team that took home the Olympic gold in 2000?

The short version: The GB8 team’s rowing performance in the 1990’s was…meh. They were efforting hard. But achieving little. Until team member Ben Hunt-Davis declared a new and simple training strategy. 

The team would ask and answer – at every decision – point the question: Will it make the boat go faster?

Each answer to this question informed everything – from how they slept, ate, trained, partied, selected equipment, and on and on.

This one small, simple question delivered life-changing results. Because suddenly they no longer needed to find the big unicorn strategy that would reinvent their performance. They simply needed a better way to make all of their decisions. In service of a meaningful outcome.

My recent article – The Elephant and the Unicorn – advocates for this very mindset when it comes to Activating our teams. To driving their employee engagement and their business performance.

Bearing in mind that Activated teams are the ones who can effectively…

DELIVER –  their best work, best ideas efficiently and impactfully

DEVELOP – new skills and capabilities, can take on more and do it with less

CONNECT – to community and team, to belong and collaborate and speak up

THRIVE – feel well, balanced, energized, respected and recognized

The question to ask and answer – all the time – is Will it make the boat go faster?

Should we take on this new project?

Should we build this training program?

Should we have everyone in the office twice a week?

Should we change or add this process or policy?

Should we invest in this software?

And on. And on. 

When we run Activation Checks (i.e., when we speak to your teams, capture their ideas, and present to you a short-term but high-impact action plan), the spirit of this question is what lights the path we take.

So as we near the close of 2023. As we step back and see how very hard our teams have been rowing. Let’s ask ourselves. Are we on track to take home the gold?

If not. Let’s talk about how Lead Above Noise can help you get to a yes.