Building A High Performing Team In 90 Days with Kevin Herring

Imagine a self-directed team that is self-motivated and performs at a high level? Every leader wants that! Kevin Herring is a recognized expert in team and business unit turnarounds. In this episode he shares his experiences and strategies to build great leaders and turn any workgroup into a highly engaged, high performing team in just 90 days.

Who Is Kevin Herring?

Kevin Herring is a recognized expert in team and business unit turnarounds and creator of the 90-day Turnaround, a unique program for building great leaders and turning any workgroup into a highly engaged, high performing team in just 90 days.

Kevin is a consultant, published author, and national conference keynote speaker, He has been published and quoted in Forbes, CFO, Talent Management, Workforce, and HR Executive among others.

Kevin’s Experience With A Self Directed Team And How That Catapulted His Career

Kevin sharing his experience with a diverse group that included refugees that didn’t speak english very well made him want to analyze why people did what they did and how to create a high functioning team and organization. 

This accidental self-directed work team was able to perform at a high level. They helped each other out, rotated jobs, supported each other and made it fun and interesting. In situations where a manager was not present and not guiding them, they pulled together and found ways to keep it interesting and feel good about what they did every day. 

This motivated Kevin to find out HOW this could be replicated. His interest in organizational and industrial psychology, leadership, and human resources only grew over time and helped create Ascent Management. 

He then wanted to make the process and time frame shorter, a 90 day turnaround, once he was able to pinpoint the core elements that made a high functioning organization. 

Self Motivation – A Powerful Concept

The key thing is understanding that most people are self-motivated, have a desire to do work they are proud of, that gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. People that are self-motivated can create that kind of environment. 

Leaders talk about how to motivate their team members, but Kevin asks – how many leaders need someone to motivate them? I bet the answer is none. One always thinks they don’t need someone to keep them motivated, BUT leaders often think that a team won’t get motivated on their own, which leads to micro management and drives compliance behavior. 

Wade and Kevin talk about motivation vs manipulation.

Holding People Accountable – Myth?

If you tell someone that you hold them accountable – you are actually saying that you are removing that accountability away from them. The responsibility is now transferred to you. So really, it’s a myth. 

Asserting control is taking that accountability away. You have assumed responsibility. They are, in turn, choosing compliance and the level of performance is horribly lacking. 

If something isn’t working it must be out of control – and therefore the urge to take control is there and to micro manage, but it’s not a way to fix a problem.

The Turnaround Space

When to know when to turn it around? The bottom line is.. there is a choice. When technical solutions or automation does not change the situation and goals. When to know when the social system is breaking down. Ask yourself – do you want to continue down on the current path or do I need to change. And if you need to make a change to alter the results, then figure out what you need to do to make that happen.

Key Drivers For A Business To Turnaround Fast

  • Leader to recognize that people are self motivated and tap into that. 
  • Have an environment of trust, so that you can be a good leader. 
  • 6 C’s of Engagement  – Context, connection, control, commitment, communication and confidence. Put those in place and perform them well. 
  • Process is important but you have to have a culture that embraces it and is committed to it. 
  • Learn how the team impacts the business. 
  • Find out what pieces are missing. You may have some of those C’s but some of them may be incomplete and can be optimized. 
  • Work on the context first and give the team the important information that would help them understand the big picture and how they are impacting it.

How Trust Factors In

You need to know if the team trusts the leaders. If trust is broken, find out why and how to fix it. Kevin shares some examples to illustrate. A leader must have credibility. Kevin shares what to do when trust is broken and how to fix the situation.

How Do You Know When The Turnaround is Done

It’s never done if there is room for improvement. But in the 90 days, you start to see a substantial improvement in performance, their level of engagement and results. You want to see a minimum of 20% in performance. It continues to build from there.