Playbooks for Good Work

A director’s book for a recent client of Inquisition’s.

A playbook is typically known as a book containing a sports team’s strategies and plays, especially in American football. 
 
In business, we use these tactics or methods, too, but unlike a sports team, these plays, frustratingly, remain at the top tier or is documented in an extremely tedious document, updated annually, that no one reads. 
 
Your playbook’s your plan: business process workflows, standard operating procedures and cultural values. Your playbook reflects a pre-determined approach or response, either tried and tested or a hypothesis, which your “play” tests, reflects on and adapts.
 
It goes without saying that if you’re playing without a plan, you’ve got a margin for success, but it’ll be based on luck. A playbook helps you reflect on plays, as you go along, adapting and refining each play with measurement and reflection.
 
Now, we understand that each business is different, with its own landscape, culture and reason for being. That’s where we come in. We create playbooks and chatbots for good work.

Inquisition’s adept at immersing ourselves in your business, analysing and getting a feel for what you’re about and creating a playbook that reflects your purpose, strategy and plan of action clearly, in a way that’s understandable to anyone. Why do this? To naturalise good patterns of behaviour, bring down costs of onboarding people and create institutional knowledge which often goes unsaid.
 
A playbook consists out of a few must-haves:

Purpose: your “why”, the reason you do what you do and why everyone’s come together to achieve a common goal
 
 Strategy: your “play”, a plan or a hypothesis to test
 
 Timeline/History: nothing exists in a void — document your business’ history for newcomers, including successes and failures, so that they may have context for previous and future plays
 
 Culture: the saying goes, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” — draw the parameters of your culture
 
 Important Reference Documents: sure, there are standard procedures, but present them in a simple, fun way for better comprehension and application
 
 Checklist: at every business, there are a couple of must-do’s for an optimal experience 
 
 Work Journaling: your reflection and adaptation on plays
 
 Glossary of Terms: nothing’s more daunting than acronyms flying about and not knowing what they mean — make it easy for newcomers to get into the groove

An example of a work journal and journal prompts created for a recent client of Inquisition’s.

A business strategy is useless if only top management’s in the know. Similarly, plays can’t be put into action if plans are for the coach’s eyes only. A playbook is meant to inform both the stakeholder, coach, and player and in business, this translates to stakeholders, executives and employees. 
 
 We specialise in three types of books, all extensions of the original playbook: 
 
Induction Manual

Onboarding new members to your business or team’s a time-consuming task, with a lot of nuances. Luckily, an induction manual streamlines this process by familiarising new employees with your business’ purpose, strategy, cliff-notes of must-read documents, processes to follow and people to keep on speed dial.
 
Culture Book
 
Every business has a culture, whether it’s intentional or not. Creating a culture book helps with guiding your intentions, so everyone’s on the same page, as a handy go-to reference for both new and old team members. Culture changes as your team changes, so remember to update your culture book, annually, as its bound to have changed with incoming and outgoing team members. A constant, however, should be your purpose and values, clearly described in every edition.
 
Director’s Book
 
You’ve been called in as the director of an existing business. You’ve got your stripes, but every business, as we’re sure you know, is different and requires a deep understanding of its purpose, values, strategy and employees. A director’s book helps orientate you within a new business landscape, giving you the right amount of knowledge and tips to help you lead with insight and motivation.
 
All of these books, when used in the right context, as a continual go-to source results in good work, with prescribed answers for questions, help if needed, and, of course, a contact or two, should you be in a pickle. 
 
If your business could benefit from a playbook, custom-designed to suit your needs, send us a mail at crew@inquisition.co.za to see how we can help.