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01 Why the world needs more high-perform... > Are leadership teams ready to respon... - Pg. 14

14 High-performing Teams is paralleled in the focus on the staff's staff, the investor's investors, the supplier's suppliers and the regulator's constituency. I remember being called in as a team coach by a sales team in an electronics company. They told me that their biggest problem was that they had been highly successful at reaching their sales targets, but were being let down by the production department, which was not keeping up with delivering the right products at the right quality and the right time. How frustrating, I felt, as I listened to them, and we worked on how they might be clearer in communicating their demands to the production people. Only later did I talk to the colleague who was working with the production department, who told me that its biggest problem was the sales department. `How come?' I asked, noticing I was already tightening up ready to defend my team! `Because they are motivated by quarterly sales targets and bonuses and at the end of every quarter, work hard at selling to customers what they know my team cannot deliver. This means we get more disgruntled customers who are harder to sell too, which mean the sales department make even more unachievable promises!' The only way such cyclical patterns can be resolved is if those leading the departments act as a joined-up leadership team that thinks systemically and do not just represent the interests of their function.