Monday February 2, 2015
How did your team do? Being that it’s February 2, 2015, that may sound like a post-Super Bowl question. Watching athletic teams is a great way to see how an effective team works. Or how an ineffective one doesn’t. But I’m really after how your team – your work team - has done.
It takes some time to build a team capable of making it to the Super Bowl, let alone winning it. Lots of practice, lots of review, lots of planning, lots of coaching, lots of losses, and lots of wins. The same is true of your team in your business or organization. Want a world-class team? Try these 5 things that great teams have in common:
- They See a Common Vision. Great teams are focused on the same goals and know where they’re going. It doesn’t start that way. It takes a visionary who becomes a communicator for a team to all see the same thing with the same passion and commitment. In the absence of a clear vision from the leader, people will respond to that vacuum of vision by creating their own. That rarely works. Be clear about what you see.
- They Share Common Values. Great teams are not only concerned about the goal, they are concerned about how they get there. Values, norms, non-negotiables, all play key roles in building the kind of team that wins. In their absence, behaviors are often condoned that don’t look like what the organization was supposed to be. Lay some ground rules for how you will play the game of work. And how you won’t.
- They Stay True. Great teams stay true to who they are. They aren’t infatuated with prevailing practice because they know that is not the same as best practice. They stay true to themselves, their vision, and their values, despite growth, competition, or change. In the absence of intentionality, companies lose what made them special as they grow. Be intentional about staying true by keeping your mission, vision, and values top of mind, reinforcing behaviors that are congruent and confronting those that aren’t.
- They Get and Keep the Right People. Great teams understand what it takes to get and keep those who get their mission, see their vision, and share their values. And they quickly take action to part ways with those who don’t. Many teams are great at recruiting. Many aren’t good at getting rid of that one bad apple. The right people will make your vision come true; the wrong ones will turn it into a nightmare. Get the right ones on the bus, but also get the wrong ones off.
- They Celebrate a Shared History. Great teams don't forget where they came from; they remember what they went through to get to where they are. They remember the tough times when they almost didn’t make it, and they remember the successes where they overcame. It’s all part of the fabric of the company. They’re so good at “institutional memory” that they go to great lengths to be sure new team members are oriented to that common history. Your history is your story. Tell it!
Open Door HR Solutions helps organizations throughout the region manage critical people issues, such as building the right team, getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong ones off.
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