Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, May 21, 2005


See if this scenario looks familiar:

The CEO calls for a regular Management Committee meeting. The committee members prepare their own updates to be presented to the group. The head of IT, HR, Finance, Operations, Engineering, Marketing and Sales and others deliver their presentations one after the other. The CEO throws a few questions. Others ask for clarifications regarding the assignments given to them either by the CEO or the other members of the committee. Meeting ends smoothly. Meetings go like this all the time. CEO is happy, everyone gets to do what they think needs to be done. Everyone is aware of what others are doing.

Good, right? WRONG!

I’d say this team is suffering from a serious case of TEAMWORK ANEMIA. The problem with some team is that they think they are good because everyone is rowing towards one direction. I do not disagree with that but let me challenge that by asking this question, what if they are all rowing together towards the wrong direction? What if some members think that the team is going towards a wrong direction but won’t raise a huff? What if others don’t even care to know if it is the right or wrong direction? What if some members are using the wrong end of the paddle and don’t know it?

A great team is measured not by the absence of conflict but rather the ability of the team to utilize conflict in order to fine-tune ideas and agree on the best route towards achieving organizational goals. In a high performing team, members know each other well enough and respect members enough to know how to deal with conflict of ideas rather than avoid them. Members don’t see contradictions as an attack on the person but rather an attempt to challenge the idea and in a way let it go through a Q.A. process before implementing it. Sales and marketing strategies are reviewed from the engineering, HR, IT, Finance, or Operation’s point of view. The same goes for other strategies. IT Head sees what’s wrong with what HRD is doing and suggests some technological interventions to process things faster, remove redundancies and make informed decision. The Operations Head tries to understand all those HR interventions, assesses impact on operation, critiques it and when she gets buy-in asks how to best support it. The CEO points to a direction, team members ask for clarification, throw in some of their opinion and finally, after deliberation pull together to work on getting towards the agreed goal.

High performing team members expect their ideas to be challenged that is why they keep on their toes in developing them. At the same rate they also have so much appreciation for the concerns of the other team members that they value their opinion.

True, the team I am describing might be moving slower than those who run unopposed but hey, don’t confuse motion for action. High performing teams don’t only row together towards one direction, they move together towards the RIGHT direction.

The path towards getting to this level of team maturity is not easy, but the difficult traverse is well worth it. If you need help or want to know more, please give me a ring.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.