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Build the BEAM to Keep Your TEAM on the THEME

Build the BEAM to Keep Your TEAM on the THEME

By: Ross Paterson

When it is time to break through the fog, structure matters.


In the era of wooden ships, there was a BEAM called the keel that ran down the center of the hull. The rest of the ship was built on and supported by this structure. Building on our previous fog-cutting blogs on TEAM and THEME, we want to share four best practices. If you need engagement, resilience, and progress from your people, build a sturdy BEAM of structure to support the organization.

  1. Rhythms and Routines: One of the most critical jobs for leaders. Whenever we can replace ‘unknown’ with ‘known’, the fog is clearing. Effective meeting/huddle routines complemented by weekly or daily updates from the captain will breathe stability and calm over your team.
  2. Weekly 1-1’s: XMP has been researching and experimenting with world-class processes around 1-1 meetings with direct reports. Start with 15-30 minutes with each direct report or critical supplier/partner. Frequency is more important than quality and we recommend a future-focused conversation, save accountability, and reporting for the meeting routines. Ask how you can help them. Listen well.
  3. Shine a Spotlight on Progress: Celebrate every milestone and positive progress point that you can name. With a foggy long term view, these little wins add up to the momentum, humans need to feel successful and appreciated.
  4. Lead with Courageous Uncertainty: Every SMB owner we know is dealing with a degree of fear in 2020. Feel that fear and lead anyway. Have the courage to say, ‘We might not get this right…’ and take a calculated risk to move. If you have the respect and trust of your people, they will experiment very forgivingly with you.


Build the BEAM to keep your TEAM on the THEME. Tune in next week for our final blog to cut through the fog, REDEEM. I promise less rhyming.


Read the next blog in this series.