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Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited
Progress Requires Momentum
It’s true in all fields of endeavor — business, community service, sports, military, and the arts, to mention a few. To borrow from Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, a team remains stationary (or on its current trajectory) unless acted upon by a force — a force that produces greater velocity toward a goal. Catalysts are that force.
Momentum is defined in physics through a calculation of mass × velocity. For teams, mass might be viewed as its aggregate human talent with velocity created by how powerfully and efficiently those talents propel its strategy. Momentum is then reflected in the speed or tempo in which groups advance. It’s evident in the group’s energy, enthusiasm, persistence, and commitment. Yet creating the initial movement, significantly accelerating velocity, and picking up speed when climbing requires far more effort than to keep moving at the same rate. Just like riding a bike.
Catalysts build on team cohesiveness and use their credibility to generate momentum toward mission-relevant goals, build capacity to perform at ever higher levels, lead when best suited, and support the leadership of others.
You motivate by creating an environment in which individuals amplify their passion for a cause and embrace the value of achieving worthy objectives.
Inspire to Vigorously Achieve Lofty Goals
Catalytic momentum mounts when individuals and groups aspire to fulfill a mission (purpose for being) and develop a vision of success. In essence, they ask themselves, if we are wildly successful, what will we achieve? They then direct their vigor, resources, and expertise in a common cause toward bringing it about. You motivate by creating an environment in which individuals amplify their passion for a cause and embrace the value of achieving worthy objectives. You ignite their energy. You create the environment in which they can choose to be passionate, motivated to achieve the goal, and to build momentum toward reaching it. But that is just how it begins; there is much more to creating a powerful force.
At sporting events, when a team is making a major comeback after falling behind in the game, momentum (mission-directed energy) can crescendo as the team closes the gap one play at a time. It’s as if the momentum feeds on itself — generating more successive and powerful heads of steam — through the adrenaline it produces. Like in physics, with the dynamic between mass and velocity, a speeding object is hard to slow or stop.
Generating Momentum is the third of our catalytic cornerstones. Competencies for developing it include:
Energizes Others to Execute with the Mission in Mind.
Upgrades and Rejuvenates Skills and Knowledge.
Leads and Follows.
- Introduction: Catalytic Teamwork in Action
- Cornerstone 1 Building Credibility
- 1 Acts With Integrity and Inspires Trust
- 2 Communicates Clearly
- 3 Invigorates with Optimism
- Cornerstone 2 Creating Cohesion
- 4 Connects Emotionally
- 5 Develops Camaraderie
- 6 Puts the Team’s Goals and the Organization’s Mission before Personal Interests
- Cornerstone 3 Generating Momentum
- 7 Energizes Others to Execute with the Mission in Mind
- 8 Upgrades and Rejuvenates Skills and Knowledge
- 9 Leads and Follows
- Cornerstone 4 Amplifying Impact
- 10 Pursues Excellence
- 11 Mentors and Coaches Others to Excel
- 12 Proposes Imaginative Solutions
- What’s Next? Assessing and Developing Catalytic Competencies
- About the Authors