Building Your Oceans 11 – 3 Steps To Staffing Critical Projects with Stuart Elliott

Much like a classic heist movies, the success to pulling off a high stakes projects comes down to the team you build. From the slick con-man that can talk his way into a bank vault, to the contortionist who can climb a lift shaft – understanding the skills you need and getting them to work together will ensure success.

So, how do you create your oceans 11?

This week we once again picked the brain of Stuart Elliot, Executive Manager of Workforce Strategy and Design at Suncorp, and asked him what we considers when staffing  critical projects.

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Considerations When Staffing Critical Projects

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1. Understanding Skills

I start at looking at the outcomes you want, and what are the capabilities you’re going to need to deliver on the outcomes of that project. Whether it’s technical skills or specialist skills, start by asking what are the outcomes and what are the capabilities that you want.

2. Building the Team

Based on the idea that individuals only work in relation to others, and that teams are the most effective way of ensuring collaboration and innovation – how do we then build the team that has all the necessary attributes and capabilities for the project? How can I ensure that this team is very quickly established?
We used to talk about ‘forming’, ‘storming’ and ‘norming’, and we looked at a curve that took probably up to four months before you got a fully effective team.

What we need to do now is be able to pull together teams that can be fully effective in 3 days.

To achieve this the rules of the team must be clear. When people come in, it should be clear what that team does, what it stands for, what are the governing principles – so that people can belong immediately and feel like they have value immediately. They don’t have to prove themselves because they’ve already been chosen for having the necessary attributes.

3. Ensuring the Team can Reach FLOW

It’s irrelevant if they’re contingent or permanent, we should have the working conditions, the space, the tools and technology so that team can move into flow – moments where they are fully engaged with work.

When you’re in flow, time stand still.

We need to understand what we have to provide a team to ensure that our project team can enter flow as quickly as possible, because that’s where you see quantum shifts in efficiency, outputs and engagements.

To learn more about hiring and building the workforce of the future, join Stuart at #CWF15 in Sydney on 22-23 September.  Stuart will be presenting a session on changing cultures to build a balanced workforce that creates optimum results for all stakeholders. To participate, register your ticket for the event here.


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