Powerful quotes for strong performing (effective) teams


Followers of my blogs will know that I have been reading Stephen Covey’s “The 8th Habit” and have found it very inspirational both from a personal perspective, and for the various ways in which I help teams become a strong foundation for their organisations.

I particularly liked the following quotes which Covey includes in his book:

There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo. This is very pertinent to Change Management.  How many times have I and others I know tried to introduce a new way of thinking or working that we think is absolutely right for the situation, only to find that we just can’t make it happen.  And then, maybe a few weeks, months or even years later, it’s suddenly easy to do, and everyone else is adopting the idea as if it was their own: like ‘pushing against an open door’?  The skill is in recognising when it’s the wrong time to introduce this kind of change, and when it’s the right time..

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Henri David Thoreau. This to me is very relevant to why we do root cause analysis in process improvement. It’s all too common a failing to try to treat the symptoms of a problem, rather than to look at the causes.  We can spend a lot of unnecessary and ineffective energy addressing the symptoms of a problem, rather than finding the root cause and tackling it once and for all.

The difference between what we are doing and what we’re capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.” Mahatma Gandhi.  This is of course a very powerful call for each individual to find their ‘voice’ and be great rather than merely mediocre.  It applies to any organisational unit too.  For a team, it’s about understanding roles and responsibilities and how each team member can contribute and help the other team members to achieve the organisation’s goals.  It’s about ensuring that the team members understand what customers value and is working on the right things, before spending time on process improvement to do things right.

To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents.  What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be hist finest hour.” Winston Churchill.  This quote seems to bring us full circle to the first and subsequent ones in this blog i.e. recognising when the time is right, understanding where ones energy is best spent, being clear on what our customers value, playing our role within the tangible or virtual team(s) that we are a member of to achieve a truly great performance, and lasting value. Empowerment in a nutshell?

I’d love to hear from you if you find the above of interest – comments here or contact me via: http://www.linkedin/in/elisabethgoodman

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3 responses to “Powerful quotes for strong performing (effective) teams

  1. An interesting article which meshes very nicely with the insight that I am currently trying to inculcate in the wider world — that in hi-tech industries, R&D is not “making things”, it is “learning things”.

    This simple mind-shift is enough to blow away most of the misconceptions held by non-R&D management: that it should be possible to plan a product development before you start, that the outcome of a project can be defined exactly on day-one, that one can hire and fire development staff at will, and so on. None of these commonly held views make any sense in the face of a team whose role is to acquire knowledge. And of course, the need for exit interviews becomes blindingly obvious too — though in R&D, it should more often be a long and complex brain-dump which can take weeks or even months.

    And by the way, in your quote from Gandhi he was totally wrong for once, for exactly the same reasons that the creators of the NHS were wrong to think that its costs would decrease after a few years.

    • elisabethgoodman

      Thank you Kim – I appreciate your feedback.

      Maybe you could clarify your remark about Gandhi’s quote a little more?

      • Fixing the currently-visible set of problems inevitably reveals a more complex set of challenges heretofore invisible and unimagined.

        Prior to the NHS, people died of easily-cured diseases; it was glibly imagined that treating such infections would render people healthy. These days, we expect the service to install a new heart for those who need one…

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