Consistency compounds: the habit of success for geographically distributed teams

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Written by Phil Dunk

Small changes repeated time and time again will become habits that can lead to big results. This is the premise of James Clear’s bestselling book, Atomic Habits.

The challenge for companies that have geographically distributed teams, whether nationally or internationally, is lack of visibility. Are small changes being made, and if they are, are they being repeated and what’s the impact?

The reason small positive changes aren’t repeated is that the impact or reward can be long term and humans are wired for instant gratification. A change might put a local team on the right trajectory to a positive outcome. But if that change isn’t consistently repeated, the trajectory will fall away and the long-term impact will be lost.

Developing positive habits

The process for developing positive habits is relatively simple.

  • The cue: A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in a local market is tracking too low
  • A need to change: The realisation that to continue to do the same thing will lead to the same poor results
  • A regular action is agreed:  Committing to the action until it becomes a habit
  • The reward:  The impact of consistency is improved scores, targets achieved, and team recognition

To get to ‘the reward’, a sturdy bridge from ‘agreeing the action’ is needed in the absence of instant gratification. Because a bridge makes the journey easier. It uses signposts and updates to keep the team informed that they are on the right trajectory and motivated to make it to the other side.

How Loop can help

Loop is designed to make the whole process of developing positive habits transparent to the whole, geographically distributed organisation. So it provides that sturdy bridge between agreeing actions, forming habits and seeing the impact.

The cue:  Loop clearly shows where KPIs and associated data points are underperforming

A need to change:  The visibility of the data to everyone – site manager, field team, regional HQ, HQ – means that underperforming areas are visible to all.

An action is agreed: The action centre plots actions to KPI’s and associated data, because this ensures actions are open and visible, which leads to them being followed through.

The reward:  Actions are tracked and their impact on performance clearly visualised. This provides a daily incremental commentary on consistency leading to progress, making it more likely that the action will become habitual.

Habit forming is hard, but it’s even more of a challenge with geographically dispersed teams. Loop brings everyone together and is transparent to all so there is nowhere to hide. It inspires the whole enterprise to form positive habits. And as consistency compounds, the earlier you start, the better.

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