I was recently asked to work with a team of 12 mid-level managers in an organization of about 250 people. As individuals they were an incredibly bright, competent, diverse group that are clearly dedicated to the success of the company, as a “team” they were a disaster. Prior to meeting with them I had everyone fill out a “Team Effectiveness Audit” and the scores were…not so good. However, we had a wonderful day together and I thought you might find value in some of the things they developed for turning their workgroup into a high-performance team.
The first workshop we did was to create a model of who they felt would be an “Ideal Team Member” to serve on this team.
Ideal Team Member
· Excellent Communicator – superb listener
· Highly competent
· Action oriented – proactive – sense of urgency
· People/relationship focused
· Balanced view: strategic & tactical
· Team-first attitude
· Strong, self-aware leader
· High integrity
· Personal and mutual accountability
· Delivers business results
After we created the above list I pointed out to them that in order to attract a team member like this, they would first have to be like this themselves. It’s one of the key ideas for effective teams; A-players only want to be on a team with other A-players.
We then worked on creating a set of rules, or a charter, for how the team would treat each other. I think they developed a pretty good list…
Team Rules for Behavior
Be fully present – no technology/be engaged
Hold each other 100% accountable
Use retrospect and focus on the effectiveness of this team and adherence to the rules
Be constructive/solution focused
Treat each other with respect
Focus on the success of the company – not your individual departmental team
Over-communicate with honesty and transparency
Prioritize each other and this team
Deal with facts
Effective / valuable meetings
Lastly, we developed a few action steps that they could begin taking immediately to start the slow and steady process of shaping them into a more effective team and hopefully, eventually, a high-performance team.
Create team vision/purpose (in progress)
Define key goals that align with the team purpose and that strategy / guiding principles of the organization
Define key metrics for those goals
Define how to hold each other accountable to those goals / metrics
Create ways to force collaboration
Evaluate team effectiveness quarterly
Once they finalize the vision/purpose of the team, and define their goals and metrics I will be creating a survey to measure their effectiveness in implementing their goals and continuing to adhere to the team rules of behavior. I will be administering the survey every three months so that we can constantly adjust as they develop as a team. Based on the quality of the people on this team I have a lot of confidence that things are going to go well.
I welcome your thoughts on what this team created; do you feel that there’s something missing?