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June - 2012 - issue > In My Opinion
Team Eagle Leading High Performance
Rahul Kanodia
Vice Chairman & CEO- Datamatics
Friday, June 1, 2012
Challenges and opportunities are two sides of the same coin. The trick lies in continuing to flip the coin, when faced with challenges. It was in the year 2008, when amidst the global meltdown we faced challenges relating to growth and revenue visibility. The global uncertainties were fast translating into economic downturn globally, with the western developed economies being at the core of this vortex. This resulted in constraints in getting new business and therefore it became pivotal for us to focus on creating a sustainable organization that would not only navigate the turbulent waters during downturn but would also enable us surge to newer heights during upturns.

The idea

Being a solutions provider to Fortune 500 companies, we at Datamatics have always considered people to be our greatest strength. It is normally witnessed that during the downturn, people are generally considered to be the first casualty for protecting the bottom-line, despite being the prime resource. Ever since our inception, we have believed in the culture of putting people first in every decision. The idea of short-term gain, though enticing, doesn't lead to long-term sustainability for any business. Therefore, we chose to not only challenge the wide-spread industry practice of "slimming the workforce and protecting margins", but also invest into promising people with greater zeal, to enable the company take maximum benefit from the impending upturn. As a result, "Team Eagle" was formulated.

Team Eagle

Team Eagle comprises of a group of high potential and high performance team members. These team members from diversified functions are brought together, nurtured and empowered to bring an improvement in terms of efficiency, quality of the projects and increase profitability with superior results.

This program involves on-the-job learning, strategic project-based capability building, team bonding, creating leadership skills amongst cross functional teams, and executive coaching & mentoring, amongst others.

At Datamatics it is considered to be a privilege to be a part of elite Team Eagle program. Team Eagle is selected through a rigorous process and is further divided into several high performance teams, comprising of cross-function members. So far, we have had four terms of Eagle program, with each one lasting for about four months. They all have been a great success. To leverage on the efforts put-in by the high performance teams, we have introduced an extended 30-60-90 days plan. This will ensure continuity.

How does it work?

Like the Eagle, the Team Eagle at Datamatics soars high on innovation and takes challenges head-on. The sense of focus and intense energy within and across teams cultivates a healthy competitive spirit necessary for the program.

Each team is provided with a project, with specific goals, targets and definitive timelines. The projects assigned to each team are usually outside the comfort zone of each member. Adoption of cross-functional teams makes sure that each process is viewed afresh while ensuring that goals remain attainable. All teams are inspired and encouraged to come up with radical, out-of-the-box approaches that result in phenomenal improvement. These teams have the liberty to go beyond the existing processes, hierarchy and reporting structures in order to attain their goals/targets.

Coaching and mentoring by seniors team members and external professional plays a vital role in developing these high-performance teams. Each team has its own mentor, who is a senior level resource in the organization. He guides, nurtures and advices each member at their call. These mentors are like the Mission Directors, and act as a catalyst to transform passion into performance.

These teams have a strong sense of accountability for achieving their goals. Upon the achievement of the target or envisioned goal, the team members are rewarded in terms of mementos, financials and tangible awards. This ensures higher degree of motivation and recognition across the organization. This also leads to higher scope of innovation and process engineering across the organization.

All teams are provided with holistic training that adds to their existing skill sets. To ensure higher levels of passion and motivation, Team Eagle members are consistently imparted with inspirational talks by eminent and established professionals. Out-bound events are organized with an objective to build a stronger bond between the team members and enhance their ability to look beyond the obvious. Brainstorming sessions with directed autonomy are held to build up team’s self belief in coming up with solutions to the problems that will inevitably arise.

The impact

Project "Team Eagle" has resulted in a marked change across the organization in terms of culture, innovation as well motivation levels. With cross functional teams working together on common goals, they are able to appreciate the efforts that each one of us puts in to make any project a great success. The indigenous program currently witnessing its fourth season has translated to productivity gains of 250-400 percent, increased revenue and higher client satisfaction.

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