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Foolproof Combination

fool proof combination


From: Barbara Harpham (Miss)
National Director, Heart Research UK (and, until May 2007, a local Councillor, former Cabinet member and Group Leader on Redcar and Cleveland Council

My experience with Best Year Yet has been with HRUK where it has proved to an invaluable tool in raising morale, performance, team involvement and results.  From this experience, I am more than convinced that it would a massively strong tool for raising standards in local government to eliminate departmentalism, low performance, dogmatism and increase personal job satisfaction, morale, results and public approval.  It would be applicable at all levels from top level management teams and Cabinets to supervisors and operatives.  A Cabinet programme would be especially applicable as it would pull together individuals into a team with a clear focus and measurable goals.  No Cabinet, to my knowledge, has performance indicators or a strategy for achievement for them as a team and it would be a brave step for the first one to do Best Year Yet which, I believe, would reap major success.

From a team leader’s point of view, it has:

  • highlighted the strengths and weakness in a team
  • but also provided the solutions to any problems in a way that has given the team the feeling that they have worked it out together rather than been dictated to from ‘the top’
  • broken down communication barriers, leading to open, honest conversations
  • identified what really matters and channeled efforts into specific tasks
  • introduced or reinforced the concept of performance indicators without actually calling them PIs.  (Sometimes the name devalues their importance or can frighten some team members)
  • changed PIs into meaningful, measurable goals rather than apparently arbitrary levels to be achieved
  • given direction to a team without the team leader losing control of overall direction

From a team member’s

  • brought the team together with a common purpose
  • added focus outside of every day jobs which has an outcome to look forward to, not just an extra ‘chore’
  • given an insight into how others work
  • spread responsibility for the main focus and stopped isolationism
  • encouraged original thinking
  • eliminated the’ always been done like that’ attitude
  • involved team members in other members’ problems and solutions

I can honestly say that we would not have progressed as quickly as we have without this programme.  One of its main strengths is that the whole process is not seen as yet another team building exercise, rather a challenge to do the best you can together.  A subtle, but important difference that has broken down barriers to allow team members also to be individuals, with personal responsibilities, contributing to the whole team goal.  Another strength is that it is an on-going process, not a one-off and the monthly meetings have played a vital role in achieving success.  If the results are good, it is happy day.  If there is little good news, the day is stimulating because as it provides solutions devised by everyone, looking at the larger picture.

The result of our experience is that we are now more focused.  As a charity our main focus was to raise more income and that is just what we have done.  Our fundraising income rose by 15% in the first year and at the halfway stage, this year, we are up by 20% and with a forecast of 42% by the end of the twelve month period.  

The whole process has been made that much easier and smoother by Bob King.  A highly skilled facilitator, he can get the best out of people by encouraging rather than pushing and has a such wide business experience that he can deal with every situation.  He is always very well prepared, makes the sessions enjoyable and makes sure we do not lose focus.  Without Bob we would not have been able to have such a great ‘Best Year Yet’ experience.

I would recommend Best Year Yet to any organization and would gladly answer any enquiries.

BYY Partner:

  Tel – 01536 763514
Mob -07970 478888
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