Way too much energy is spent on summarising what is commonly called briefs. Often leading to stressed timeframes, less space to actually create something and also missing out on the energy and collective intelligence that is stored in a team of people.
So for the greater good ;) and with a hope to inspire, here are some thoughts on how to brief your team more effectively.
The 41 way - Get people excited to join you on your mission
Here are a couple of insights we picked up that seem to make teams go that extra mile.
Think of the team you are briefing as a part of you rather than someone else. Let them in on the same mission and situational awareness as you have.
Spend your valuable energy on clarifying the end game, your actual goal of the mission, rather than the way you think you wish to get there.
Try to keep the target as clear and tangible as possible, ideally with quantifiable KPI's. Remember, if your goal is unclear, how are we supposed to help you get there?
Throw it all in there. Let others in on the same situational awareness you have. Keep nothing back, not even things you might consider to be personally or politically "sensitive". Cause that vital, nut cracking, piece of information might just be in there.
Keep it straight and simple. Do not spend time on super distilled and nice looking presentations. And do not worry about wording, grammar and such. No one will (or at least should) judge.
Work out the situation and scope together as a first step in the project. It's time and money well spent. It will be effective and you will get added value, better alignment and deeper engagement from each team member.
Put some sugar on top of the target. So what happens if we succeed? Offering a bonus for a target reached always gives that extra edge and commitment from a team. The bonus does not have to be monetary and it does not have to be clarified. The fact that it could be there at all is the most important thing.
The perfect brief - A sample template
There is most probably no such thing as a perfect brief, but here's a a template that might help
We are currently loosing ground to competition and we need customers to prefer us.
We need to find ways to seriously increase our NPS scores. Ideally from XXX to YYY (source).
We wish to have 1-2 concrete low complexity initiatives that can be launched within x-y months and 1-2 game changers to be developed and launched within XX-ZZ months.
Our budget for this project is XXX and there is an extra bonus to be received if we meet our KPI target within XX months.
Enclosing all the information we have, including all business, brand and market data as well as existing portfolio of ideas, et cetera.
Your point of contact will be XXX XXXX. Hen will be dedicated to this project for as long as it takes.
This project is important to us and we look forward to working openly and seamlessly together with you guys. During this project, we regard your team as a part of us and we win and loose together.
Please return with a plan for this project and let's get going.
Working together as one and all is possible.
At For One we believe in the power of embarking on missions and reaching targets together as one. So the most important thing of all - in any project - is to break down the barriers among the ones who will work together, regardless of what company they represent. And it all starts with how we brief each other for a mission.
Interested in learning more on this topic? We suggest you get in touch with Jakob Lindberg. With more than 25 years as an entrepreneur, business leader, team leader and consultant and with experiences from hundreds of brief situations for clients and suppliers, Jakob knows what he is talking about.
+46 (0)70 492 73 28