Marketing writer and speaker Thomas Barta recently published an article on Marketing Week that has got the rusty cogs in our brains turning. The article, titled If you want a high-performing team teach them how to fight posits that market success rests on teaching your team to put ‘em up. Kirsty McMahon, new client strategist at Stone Junction asks whether this is necessary for SME marketing.

Barta highlights the findings of The Harvard Business Review that state the average team achieves only 63 per cent of their strategic objectives. He argues that, for teams to be more productive, harmony is not the answer — fighting is.

He doesn’t suggest some weird attempt at an office fight club — not that he could talk about it if he was part of one. Instead Barta outlines some very sensible ideas around encouraging constructive debate, idea sharing and balanced debates chaired by those in leadership.

It’s an interesting approach. However, I don’t think I quite agree. At Stone Junction, for instance, productivity is incentivised by clear and personalised objectives that allow staff to achieve salary increases and promotions by being productive and simply doing the necessary tasks their position calls for.

One point I do thoroughly agree on is the need to have a good laugh. Barta says, “Your team tackles serious business issues, customer issues, marketing issues. That’s important. But at the end of the day, everybody is doing their job. You are not leading machines — you are leading people.”

That’s why you won’t find a more enjoyable agency to work with than Stone Junction. We take our work very seriously, but we’re also highly entertaining.

I’m interested in hearing your views on Barta’s teach them to fight theory. Have a read of the article here and get in touch on 01785 225416 or email and we’ll mull it over. Finally, if you want in on the fun, take a look at our current vacancies here

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