Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #72
From the Greenbelt of Boise Idaho, Cloudy & Cool
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.
– Lewis Carroll
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
– Lao Tzu
Most organizations regularly set goals, assess progress and provide ways to help their people improve, yet very few do the same with the many teams that make up the heart of their organization’s success. Mediocre and poor performing teams are often tolerated until they become dysfunctional.
How does your organization assess team effectiveness, and help them to improve?
In the previous post in this series, we covered four contextual elements that set the stage for team effectiveness: stakeholders, systemic scope, level of complexity and uncertainty, degree of work interdependence. We’ll build on those using three lenses to assess team effectiveness.
First, what are the team’s stakeholders expecting from them?
It is critical for teams to know what their stakeholders expect with both minimal acceptable and excessive thresholds, so they can guide their work and course correct along the way. Frequently used criteria include:
- a quality deliverable, product, service or solution,
- delivered within a certain timeframe,
- meeting safety, regulatory and other specified requirements,
- at an acceptable price or cost,
- that achieves a specific adoption, use or purchase rate.
Second, what are the critical improvement drivers the team needs to address?
Whether they’re improving routine operations, innovating new solutions or inventing something, teams are building upon what has been done before and seeking a better outcome. By clarifying what combination of specific improvements they’re focused on, teams can be more effective. Frequently used examples are:
- Deliver Better (e.g. experiences, services, products, etc.)
- Deliver More (e.g. serving more niches to more customers more frequently, etc.)
- Deliver faster (e.g. less lead time, etc.)
- For Less (e.g. price, cost, margin, etc.)
- More Sustainably (e.g. renewable resources, lower environmental impact, etc.)
Finally, what are the health indicators that enable teams to adapt and thrive?
Teams need to manage their own fitness, growth and development to enable progress and ongoing success. Key indicators include:
- Psychological safety and conversational health
- Collective leadership culture, presence and resilience
- Workflow improvement and innovation
- Team learning and adaptability, internally and externally with other teams
- Individual growth
Knowing how to measure team effectiveness and providing ways for their teams to improve is crucial for organization success in today’s complex, uncertain and ever-changing world.
I work with teams and leaders to create better results through the conscious evolution of our practice of team leadership. Let’s create a better future today!
Previous Posts in the Series: