Dance the check-check-check to results

by | Sep 10, 2012 | Blog | 0 comments

Care to join me in starting a new movement at work?

We’ll call it the “Check-Check-Check” dance. 

We’ll take time in our day to connect with our work and at least one other teammate to do:

  • One check—Check in to see how things are going, a la the friendly check-in chat.
  • Two check—Check up to ensure we’ve got clarity and focus for our daily tasks.
  • Three check—Check on the appropriate alignment to make sure the work still fits the organization’s current objectives, which keeps us from working at cross purposes with others in different functions.

By doing the Check-Check-Check, we are all dancing to the same music and moving in the same direction.

Even better, we’re avoiding getting your feet tangled and contributing to the “self-inflicted chaos” that adversely affects many organizations.

(As defined by Karen Martin in her great new book The Outstanding Organization, “self-inflicted chaos” is the disorder and confusion that organizations create on their own without any help from the outside world. This chaos “sabotages your ability to provide value to your customers, satisfy shareholders and offer a work environment that doesn’t break employees’ spirits.”)

Consider the Check-Check-Check the modern business dance that relieves stress while helping achieve results.

Why? From an individual’s perspective, these checks are healthy actions for you and your brain.

  1. You make human connections. (Check!)
  2. You take control of what you can control. (Check!)
  3. You make progress toward accomplishing your daily goals and strategic initiatives. (Check!)

Once you start these check-ins, they can become powerful habits that keep people in diverse locations and roles connected while achieving mutual goals. In fact, these check-ins support the FLIP habits of focus, listen, involve and personalize that help leaders connect with employees. (Join me Friday, Sept. 14, 9 am PT (12 noon ET) for the webinar Exploring FLIP habits. Strong habits that build strong leaders, which summarizes the results of my recent survey.)

As an example of effective check-ins on a macro level, more than a year ago, one of my clients launched a massive strategic transformation. We wanted to keep leaders and employees informed and involved in what was happening on an enterprise level. Initially we weren’t sure the best approach to take because the company’s infrastructure left a lot to be desired.

We decided on holding monthly conference calls, using the old-fashioned yet effective tool, the telephone.

The “Change Checkpoint Calls,” as I dubbed them, were born.

Once a month for the Change Checkpoint Call, wherever employees are, they can call into the 800 number, listen as the leaders and selected employees share pertinent updates, success stories and challenges related to the transformation, and ask questions.

And if employees can’t make the call, they can listen to the recording, which gets posted to the Intranet. We also post a summary of that month’s key themes and actions to take.

The calls take some prep work—namely determining the agenda, finding and asking employees to participate and providing them the speaker guidelines we developed.

The return on the investment of time and the cost of the conference service seems well worth it though—in light of the participation rates, the company’s success to date with its transformation and past survey results. People report that they know what’s going on, they feel connected, they have a voice, and they have confidence in senior leaders as well as the strategy and the implementation.

Because we believe in checking, we’re planning to conduct another survey soon to make sure we’re staying on track with these regular check-ins

Once you try it, doing the “Check-Check-Check” can be as easy as dancing the “Cha-Cha-Cha.” Just listen to Sam Cooke singing, Everyone likes to cha-cha-cha.

Ready to Check-Check-Check? One, two Check-Check-Check!


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