Assignment: Group project. Do the words make you shudder at the very thought? If so, you’re among the multitudes of us who, to save ourselves in school, got stuck doing more than our fair share of the work. Anyone who has experienced this fact of life knows the sheer frustration that accompanies it.
While it seems that the rules for group projects—or working in teams—should be different in business then they were in school, without careful measures, they aren’t. Human nature knows no boundaries, and whether it’s “slacker,” “busy bee,” or “glory hog,” people can easily follow along in their usual role for teamwork. The good news is that there are ways of building and structuring a business team to help ensure that it reaches its full potential—with all members included.
The difference between success and failure in business may no longer lie in methods or technology, but in how individuals contribute to teams. Realizing this, many businesses have taken to make team-building a priority.
When effective teamwork is on your side, you can dramatically raise productivity, cultivate employee loyalty and ultimately take responsibility for your success—without having to burden yourself with responsibility for other’s contributions—or lack thereof.
Building Business Success: Talented Teams
We’ve all experienced being a part of a less-than-ideal team. But it’s highly unlikely that most of us have been an integral component of a well-oiled machine that produces real and sustained results: a well-built, smooth running business team. Although they are somewhat rare to find, it’s entirely possible to create such high performance teams in your organization.
It is first important to distinguish a “High Performance Team” from a traditional work group. Our definition: “A self-managing, multi-functional group of people organized around a whole process and empowered with full responsibility for their success.” There are proven strategies for successfully building such business teams.
A valuable framework upon which to begin the teambuilding process is the Team Model. Graphically, the model comprises three interconnected circles, each representing one of the three main elements of a team:
1.The Charter, which describes why a team exists and includes such elements as: customers, mission, values and goals.
2.The Design describes what the team does and how it does it and includes: core work processes, roles and responsibilities, procedures/norms and systems.
3.The Relationship circle describes how people get along and work together to accomplish their mission and includes: trust and respect, communication, cohesion and synergy.
The elements of the model are interdependent and yet there is a sequence that must drive their development. The charter must be clear before a team can be designed, and a team must be designed well to reduce relationship problems.
In addition, the process calls for the managers to play different kinds of leadership roles than perhaps they are used to and possibly for the first time: they need to play the Trailblazer role as they work on the charter; the Architect role to work on the Design; and the Coach role to work on the relationship element.
Solid teams are the foundation of High Performance organizations, and developing those teams is a process that takes serious effort and consistent discipline. Such team development requires hard, yet extremely interesting work. Those willing to undertake the challenge are rewarded with the twice-blessed advantage of higher efficiency and effectiveness…often dramatically so.
SKYE Business Solutions helps leaders discover their purpose: the driving force behind your organization’s ability to achieve. Purpose empowers leaders to recognize value; creating a culture of engagement, contribution, and trust. SKYE propels your leadership to the next level: pushing through the ordinary to unlock the full potential throughout all levels of your organization.