ORLANDO, FLA. -- It's one thing to set aside research and development funds to try to find the best CRM strategies for your company. It's another to have a sound philosophy and strategy in mind in order to best implement any CRM solutions purchased. Both of these areas are essential, but this morning's keynote address at SAPPHIRE 2008 stressed one more aspect that is crucial to any successful company, let alone implementation: teamwork.
Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm serving organizations in helping them improve teamwork, clarity, and employee engagement, spoke about the lessons from his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He argues teamwork is not only a competitive advantage, but the competitive differentiator in today's business world. "[Teamwork] is so rare in organizations today, and because of that, it provides a different competitive advantage like nothing else," he explains. "Teamwork allows us to leverage our investments in technology, strategy, and intelligence. The absence of teamwork crushes any investments a company makes."
Lencioni likened teamwork to being a parent -- he says we generally know the right things to do and say in order to be an effective team member or leader, but like parenting, it takes dedication everyday. "There is a great deal of information on teamwork and leadership," he says. "But, what I'm trying to leave with you all today is a practical reminder in order for you all to best leverage your [company] investments."
According to Lencioni, the five dysfunctions of a team are:
- Absence of Trust;
- Fear of Conflict;
- Lack of Commitment;
- Avoidance of Accountability; and
- Inattention to Results.
Lencioni stresses that the trust he speaks of is not predictive trust, but vulnerability based trust--being able to admit when you need help and when you're wrong. "Vulnerability is a completely authentic emotion," he says. "The most important thing you can do as a leader is show you are vulnerable, and you team members can follow suit." Failure to show vulnerability-based trust can be lethal, Lencioni believes. "If one member of a team refuses to be vulnerable, it will spread like a disease to the whole team," he adds.
The dysfunction Lencioni believes is the worst of the five he mentions is avoidance of accountability. Lencioni believes the most valuable accountability comes from within a team. "Teammates must trust each other and hold each other accountable," he argues. "Peer-to-peer accountability is the most powerful form." While teammates are tasked with holding each other accountable, Lencioni says leaders cannot take a backseat. Leaders have to show they are willing to confront difficult issues that go beyond the bottom line. "I can't tell you how many senior executives I've heard tell me 'I'm too busy and tired to deal with this right now,'" he recalls. "It's never about taking an employee to tasks over not making their numbers, either. It's always behavioral issues that senior executives want to avoid having to deal with." That, he believes, is a recipe for failure. "Accountability on a team starts with behaviors, because they almost always precede results," he adds.
Lencioni concluded by reinforcing for leaders the value of teamwork--it is not just about being a competitive differentiator; it's also about changing lives. Lencioni argues that the lessons a leader instills in team members start a chain reaction. These team members take the lessons and incorporate them into both their professional and personal lives. "Many leaders think they would like to retire early and do 'meaningful' work with children or philanthropies," he says. "That's wonderful, but in their capacity as leaders now, they have the opportunity to change team members' lives."
SAP + RIM = CRM2Go
Introducing a rebuilt version of its CRM application to run natively on Research In Motion's BlackBerry mobile devices, SAP aims to give companies universal access.
SAP Refocuses on "Fun"
SAP CRM 2008: SAP's overarching theme of "customer co-innovation" goes beyond its newly launched CRM offering, according to company executives.
Insight: Vendors Go Virtual for Feedback
On The Scene: SAP CRM 2008 -- Online communities are another way to get into customers' heads.
SAP Zeroes In On the Contact Center With M&A
SAPPHIRE '07 Vienna: The company acquires Finland's Wicom Communications; expect to see more large CRM firms buying contact center companies down the pike, according to one analyst.
SAP Sounds Off on SOA and Collaboration
SAPPHIRE '07: The business software giant highlights its enterprise services strategy and champions the importance of business network transformation.
On the Scene: SAP Continues Its Enterprise SOA Push
SAPPHIRE '06: The enterprise software company underscores its on-demand CRM capabilities while continuing with its enterprise services architecture approach.
SAP Takes a Dual Approach
SAPPHIRE '06: The company highlights its hybrid on-demand/on-premise CRM offering, while persistently promoting its enterprise services architecture strategy.
SAP Targets Enterprise SOA
SAPPHIRE '06: Amidst "the industrialization of software," the German juggernaut continues its service-based strategy.
SAP Unveils Its BI Black Box
SAPPHIRE '05: The software giant, HP, and Intel combine efforts to produce an appliance that allows more employees to tap into analytics.
A New Business Blueprint Stars at SAPPHIRE '05
SAPPHIRE '05: SAP touts its NetWeaver platform/partnership concept as the next evolution in CRM, blending innovation with best-of-breed capabilities.
SAP Goes Vertical
SAPPHIRE '05: SAP releases the latest version of its CRM suite, but analysts cite the company's 'failure' to deliver a hosted application.
Customers Applaud mySAP CRM
SAPPHIRE '02: SAP delivers at its e-business conference, with an eye on ROI.
SAP Susses Out 2008
With financial results in hand and Business ByDesign humming along, the vendor offers some thoughts on what's coming next.
SAP's Year-End Model Sports a Facelift
SAP Influencer Summit: The German giant's SAP CRM 2007 -- with a new user interface -- sneaks in under the calendar-year wire.
Business Objects Gives SMBs an Edge
New feature to the company's Edge series promises to address the financial concerns of midmarket companies.
A Shift in SAP's Growth Strategy: Buy Big to Get Bigger
The company's planned acquisition of analytics powerhouse Business Objects represents the largest in company history.
SAP's Midmarket Design
SAP Business ByDesign is the company's new on-demand midmarket product; much of its success hinges on SAP's channel strategy.
Feature: The 2007 Market Awards: Enterprise Suite CRM
SAP is named a Leader, but falls short of reaching the category's top spot.
Feature: Always On
The new generation of consumers, clients, and customers is perpetually connected -- to the Internet, to you, and to each other. What can Web 2.0 do for you?
SAP to Acquire Business Objects
The friendly takeover folds new business intelligence capabilities into one of the leading enterprise software platforms; amidst differing opinions, rumors loom of a counteroffer from Oracle or IBM.
SAP Tucks-In Another Acquisition
The German software maker adds BPM functionality to its portfolio by acquiring Indian-based YASU.
CRM Vendors Get SOA Happy
Leading CRM software vendors are looking to build out service oriented architecture to increase the flexibility of solutions, which will lead enterprises slowly but steadily to integrate SOA.
For CRM, ERP, and SCM, SAP Leads the Way
The on-demand delivery model, focus on the midmarket, and continued consolidation are some of the common threads in these markets today.
Insight: Required Reading: Your Employees Matter, Too
Why? Because you don't serve your customers -- they do.
On-Demand CRM Primed to Dwarf the On-Premise World
In the battle for software supremacy, new research predicts the on-demand CRM market will grow more than six times faster than its on-premise counterpart through 2010.