- updated post -
A few years ago, my leadership team tried to quantify the swagger that certain teams seem to have. What is it about the most successful teams that set them apart? With all things being equal – talent, process, etc. – why do some teams seem to consistently achieve the impossible while others – sometimes with more raw talent – seem average by comparison? Say, Apple vs. Microsoft? In NFL terms, Patriots vs. Chargers.
After factoring out all the symptoms, we agreed that the “it” factor boils down to a single aspect: inspiration.
We then articulated the scale of engagement for a team as:
Ok, but so what?
A fascinating companion to this scale comes from a study done by Proctor and Gamble to understand the relationship between a consumer’s connection to a product and the team that created it. P&G set up a blind study where they exposed consumer focus groups to products created by teams which had been ranked on a scale similar to the one above. The surprising result is that without exception, their consumers were most (and significantly so) engaged with the products created by the most inspired teams.
Remember, we aren’t talking about products with an emotional connection like web sites or cars, rather this study followed consumer goods like Tide and cereal. P&G’s study showed a direct and stable correlation between the level of a product team’s engagement and their customers‘ appreciation for the product.
Talk about a virtuous circle… Inspired teams will in turn inspire their customer through the products and services they create.