Tip 2.3: A Quarterly Theme and Celebration/Reward are announced to all employees that bring the Critical Number to life.

Think of the scaling up process as a continuum. Companies can not embrace the entire process out of the gate. Theme creation usually is more likely to happen in year 2 or 3. That said, it is a terrific method to rally the team and bring core values and priorities to life.

Why have a theme?

Having a theme breathes excitement into a challenge. And accomplishing something important gives you a great reason to celebrate. There should be a time to celebrate, to enjoy some of the fruits of your victories along the way. You can’t go through challenges  sacrificing yourself with no benefit. Teams need rewards and acknowledgment after a big push toward the achievement of some goal.

How to create a theme:

Delegate the actual creation of the theme to a nonexecutive team. Almost every company has a team member who is skilled in using a computer to create videos, posters, and other themed collateral. The senior team doesn’t need another job, and it’s best if an employee –run team drives the theme activities.

At the celebration, ask the most powerful question a leader can pose when a team has successfully completed anything: “How did you do it?”

Nothing builds momentum and energy like having specific targets. It isn’t uncommon for teams to fall short of their goals in the beginning. Don’t change the goals. To encourage the team have three potential targets – Super Green, Green and Red – ups the odds that the team will earn a medal. Even if you don’t hit the minimum goal, convene the team for an event to announce the results.

As the company matures in the use of quarterly and annual themes, you can dial up the rewards. One team offered a company picnic with hotdogs escalating to steaks depending on the level of achievement. The important thing is to make it fun!

If you are wondering what the picture has to do with this tip. It’s my personal annual  theme reminder  – kicking the ball down the road!