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Sunday, July 22, 2007

To Be a More Cohesive and Effective Team

" To be a more cohesive and effective team..."

I wonder how many companies put this as part of their strategic objectives or plans. It'll be great to have it together with "increase revenue by X%" or, "increase market share by such and such." I doubt however if any company would put it on top of all those important numbers. If there are any, I wonder how far they are willing to go to make it happen.

But think about it, if you give more priorities to building teamwork in your company and I mean being dead serious about building it, won't everything else follow? Field of dreams right? "If you build it, they will come. " I hope it's that simple. With a lot of people building something, you gotta build something extra special for them to come. Higher quality products, better quality service, top notch company, what makes them? Highly effective and cohesive teams do. Ones that're motivated enough to accept the challenge, humble enough to recognize rooms for improvement, open enough to think of bizarre new ideas, and dynamic enough to utilize all the mental resources available in the company.

It's doable. You can build a team like this. The only requirement is for you and your team to commit to the requirements of building it. Here are my requirements:

  • Get it started in a big way - Make it one of your organizational initiatives. Make the subject matter your objective, communicate it and come up with plans to achieve it. (if you need my help, call me - 63920-5044521)
  • Know your areas for improvement as an organization. Patrick Lencioni's "5 Dysfunctions of a Team" supplies the idea on where to look. Absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to result. These are the five things that seem to be present in varying degrees in many organizations.
  • Start at the top. You can't build teamwork organization-wide if your management team is dysfunctional. Hold an off-site teambuilding session to improve management team working relationship. After the session, each member of the management team should have a clear buy-in of what they need to do to enhance trust, engage in productive conflict, commit to a common set of goals, make each other accountable and keep track of results.
  • HAve everyone else in the organization go through a similar session. Make sure that the grouping is strategic.
  • FOLLOW-THROUGH - I typed it all caps for one big reason. I've seen far too many companies who are weak on follow-through. Only the few who do really benefit from any intervention. Those who think that paying a facilitator to play some parlor games with their staff and call it teambuilding and then expect things to magically happen for them are bound to be disappointed.

You must be worrying about how big an investment it is to go through something like this. I tell you, it is better to spend your money on finding a good way to build your team than let it burn away due to the failure of people to work effectively together to achieve a common goal.

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