If you read our Part 1 post on Strategic Calendar Workblocking, you know we have a philosophy and strategy behind the visible nature of a professional team’s capacity. The future planning of what you will attempt to accomplish on a calendar is key to moving blocks around when the reality of the future doesn’t look the way you expected it to. Whew, that’s a big sentence! Let me break that down further:
- Planning the future alone is a strategic activity (even though you know it won’t look the way you plan)
- Why? Because efficiency and clarity of work is a result (usually shaving 4 to 5 hours off of work in a week for an inefficient team member)
- The reality of the future when it arrives (which we all call the ‘present’) is best navigated by having already planned things out. Instead of the chaos of dealing with the present, it’s much more strategic to make adjustments to a calendar that has been planned well.
As our team grows, we are moving closer to them with training and demonstrations of how they are setting up their calendars. In practical terms, we are highly focused now on two key concepts:
Capture and Movement
For creative and professional teams leveraging their minds to produce client deliverables, Capture and Movement are two of the biggest strategies a firm or agency can employ. Let’s talk about what these are specifically.
In services firms, there is always the plethora of knowledge being thrown around day in, day out from many different directions. Clients, team, leaders, contractors, and vendors are all writing, speaking, recording, and listening to things being said. Some of that communication is clear, some of it is confusing, some of it is spoken asynchronously, some of it in real time. Further, some of that information is meant to be leveraged in the present, while some of that information is meant to be set aside and then leveraged later for work.
This describes the complexity of what we all do in our knowledge work. And it’s not for the faint of heart. A strategy for a creative team to capture their work will aid in the fulfillment of that work over time. To manage the importance of capture in our firm, we use tools like preparation of agendas, taking extensive notes, calendar blocks to prepare for meetings, calendar blocks for when meetings conclude, and reviews of written communication. These can be hard habits to implement but they lead to amazing clarity and great service with a collaborative team.
All knowledge sits still unless it is moved. This is an incredible realization. The assumption that “I thought you got back to her about the things she asked us to do” can be detrimental to a growing services organization. Busy humans typically move on to the next thing, instead of stopping to consider the strategy to keep knowledge moving. But knowledge is only information until it is moved forward toward the point of transformation.
We have specifically named blocks our teams use on their calendars to remind them to move communication forward, move emails forward, follow up on communication, inform the team, collaborate and move thoughts and work forward, check off the To Do lists in our PM system, etc. And these responsibilities sit within the role of each person. A Project Manager isn’t supposed to perform movement for another team member. This can bog down information gathering and movement so that service stalls. So the work of movement sits squarely on the shoulders of each and every responsible team member.
Bring it All Together
Obviously, you can’t move knowledge that you haven’t captured. That’s why Capture and Movement are huge strategies for all service firms to employ together. There is immense power in this combination of knowledge management within a team that is highly collaborative. Powerful teams like this move in sync as they capture and move knowledge together, and for the benefit of one another. It’s beautiful to watch.
Our goal as a firm is to be valuable to our market, and to do that work with valuable people. But there is a commitment the team has to make to do this together. And as Peter Drucker said, knowledgeable people turn information into knowledge. We believe they do this through deliberate Capture and Movement in collaborative communities.
And the leaders have to make commitments too – to invite the team into accountable places to ensure the knowledge in the company is being captured and moving forward effectively and efficiently.