Effectively managing teams is the most difficult task in today’s hyper competitive marketplace. As a leadership consultant, I have logged over 30,000 hours transforming dysfunctional teams – and their leaders – into high performing, collaborative factions.
In the process, I have identified 5 Focus Areas that all great teams possess.
1. Clarity of Mission and Vision
Great teams know their PURPOSE and the “WHY” behind their purpose. This clarity of mission and vision converges teams breeding higher performance, lower stress, renewed energy and an enhanced sense of value and ownership.
How Your Team Can Achieve Clarity: Begin by asking team members the following questions:
- What is the team’s Mission and Vision?
- What is YOUR contribution to the Mission and Vision?
Work, as a team, to resolve gaps. If unsuccessful, reevaluate your mission . . . its scope, priorities, inter-dependencies and ability to realistically achieve goals. Also, reevaluate your team . . . right skill sets, experience level, attitudes and willingness to collaborate. Success will come from aligning the right mission with the right team.
2. Clear and Measurable Priorities
Great teams focus on the SAME priorities until they are complete. Mediocre teams tackle too much at once dividing and working separately. This approach generates activity . . . but little meaningful progress.
How Your Team Can Set Priorities: This is one of the most difficult challenges facing any team. Begin by returning to your Mission, Vision and Strategies and set realistic, achievable priorities that align and support these areas. Finish with performance metrics that objectively measures each priority’s completion.
3. Strong Team Dynamics, Communication and Support
Great teams are SELF-AWARE. They understand their roles and responsibilities, and support leveraging individual/team strengths over personal agendas. This collective self-awareness creates ownership, mutual respect, sense of value and a spontaneous collaboration of strengths.
How Your Team Can Foster Collaboration: Spontaneous collaboration depends on trust and respect that can only be built through understanding team members’ communication and support needs. Conduct a Team Dynamics session to address and clarify the following:
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Individual/Team Strengths and Weaknesses
- Communication, Support and Team Needs
4. Healthy Cross-Functional Team Relationships
Great teams realize they are one cog in a wheel, dependent on others, to move forward. While inter-dependency is well-understood, it is usually poorly implemented resulting in conflict, roadblocks and missed deadlines.
How Your Team Can Achieve Healthy Cross-Functional Relationships: Mediocre teams involve cross-functional departments AFTER starting work while great teams include departments BEFORE the work is defined. This proactive practice validates user needs, creates dual ownership, prevents rework and opens lines of communication for mutual buy-in. Add a Team to Team Optimization session to healthily address “What’s Working/Not Working.”
5. Healthy Brand Image
Why does Brand Image matter? Simple, no one wants to be on a mediocre team but everyone wants to be on a great one. Great teams recognize that perception is reality and purposefully shape their image by asking critical questions:
- How do we want to be perceived within the company?
- What is our current Brand Image today? Who can validate?
- Where can we improve?
How Your Team Can Achieve a Healthy Brand Image: Identify your team’s ideal “5 Key Brand Image Characteristics.” Rate yourself and address gaps. Then ask other teams to rate you. Throughout this process, take the time to celebrate where your team is already winning.
Focus by Starting With only ONE of the Above areas
While it takes time and discipline to transform mediocre teams into healthy, relevant teams, you CAN do this. Moreover, you MUST do this for the good of your team and your company.
About the Author
Rubi Ho is a well-regarded leadership consultant, celebrated author, and founder and architect of the Strategic, Agile & Organizational Leadership (SaOL™) methodology and certification program. With an extensive background in organizational management, curriculum design, strategic leadership and executive coaching; Rubi’s direct and candid approach to consulting and issue resolution has earned him the trusted respect of CEO’s and their staff. Click here for more information on The Rubi Ho Group, or contact Rubi directly at 513.505.6236, Rubi@TheRubiHoGroup.com.