Two huge problems in our work world today are overwhelm and over-commitment. Both lead to exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and poor performance for employees and teams. If you or your team feels overworked, overcommitted, and stressed out by work demand managing your capacity can help.
I am saying something that is crucial and new for many people, that:
- Managing capacity is a skill.
- You can learn and improve this skill over time.
- Managing capacity is a practice in which you must engage continually to be an effective leader, executive, manager, or coach.
If you develop this skill, the result will be that you will build trust with your customers because you will fulfill more of your promises and have fewer breakdowns
What’s “Managing Capacity” All About?
It’s a key skill for managing your results or the results of your team. What’s the problem that this solves?
Capacity is a way to talk about how much you or your team can do, accomplish, and produce. What is your capacity? There’s potentially great danger in asking others to do more than they can do. Or in people agreeing to do more than they can do, from fear or often not knowing they are putting themselves in that position.
A degraded form of leadership is the approach to ask people to do more than they can realistically accomplish in the story that “it pushes them to greater performance.” Every time I’ve run into this approach I find staff that is resigned and resentful, and high turnover rates. It invariably produces a culture of grind without innovation or inspiration. Yet some organizations take on the challenge of going beyond past performance with energy and success. What’s the difference?
The principles that will elevate your team’s performance over time and produce a positive culture are:
- Build a culture in which an appropriate “no” or counteroffer is respected along with high regard for continuous improvement and valuable innovation.
- Don’t commit to doing more than you can do. Commit to what you are professionally sure you can do. Take care of and build trust with the customers of what you produce.
- If you need to do more than you can currently do, make this a separate and additional project for the team. Make it a source of possibility rather than burden with high priority.
- Learn to make improvements and innovation part of the everyday work of the team. Create!
These practices for team success occur in the conversations of leadership and teamwork. Make growing value a winning game, not one doomed from the start.
If you are failing to meet objectives or performance standards capacity might be the key culprit.
If you are ready to take the first step, then join us at one of IGL’s Foundations of Generative Leadership (FGL) workshops. FGL provides hands-on experiential learning you can’t find anywhere else that will help you see and perform at a new level of leadership, value, and teamwork.