Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #71
From the Greenbelt of Boise Idaho, Breezy
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.
– Alexander Graham Bell
In the second post of this series, we covered how 60% of the success of teams resides in the design phase before the team launches. A critical first step of team design is to clarify four elements of context.
First, who are the stakeholders the team will need to satisfy to achieve success?
Without identifying key stakeholders and their needs, teams are set up to fail. Stakeholders can include Customers, Employees, Organization Leaders, Regulatory Agencies, Investors/Taxpayers, Suppliers, Partners and who ever else’s needs must be satisfied to achieve success. Which stakeholders must your teams satisfy, and how are those stakeholders needs regularly refreshed and represented in team discussions?
Second, what is the systemic scope the team will design, implement and deliver?
There is a big difference between internal team process improvement using existing systems, and those that change relationships with external clients/partners and require multiple functions and significant IT systems changes. What systemic scope are each of your team(s) chartered to deliver?
Third, what level of operational complexity and uncertainty does the team face?
Making changes to improve upon existing processes has less complexity and uncertainty than innovating to create new processes, products and services, which is less than inventing new materials, formulations and technology solutions which can take multiple iterations before achieving market success. What types of complexity and uncertainty do your teams deal with?
Fourth, what degree of work interdependence is required of the team over time?
A common reporting relationship to the same manager does not necessarily lead to teamwork. It is interdependent work to create a shared set of outcomes that requires teamwork. Many groups called teams without sufficient interdependence are teams in name only. And teamwork can take several forms. Does the interdependent work to be done best fit a workgroup, an interdependent, stable team, or a teaming approach?
- Workgroups operate mostly independently, with occasional teamwork to share and leverage processes, tools and practices.
- Work that requires significant multi-disciplinary development benefits from interdependent, stable teams that learn and improve together over time.
- Fast moving work environments (e.g. hospitals, flight crews, customer service, disaster response, etc.) are better served by dynamic teaming, where people coordinate and collaborate as needs and workloads shift.
What truly requires interdependent teamwork in your organization, and which team approaches best serve your needs?
The context in which a team operates is critical to enable team effectiveness. Without clarifying the context and resetting with the team when the context changes, teams can quickly get off track.
I work with teams and leaders to create better results through the conscious evolution of our practice of leadership. Let’s create a better future today!
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