If you have ever been part of a great team you will know just how amazing it was and the great results that were achieved. Many people, both leaders and followers, understand conceptually about teams and how they can create amazing results. So how can you get from understanding to results?
Be Clear About The Result
The starting point for achieving anything is being clear about what it is you are trying to achieve. Ultimately teams exist to deliver a result, which I define as an outcome. Most of the time when it comes to describing results people are vague. You know the kind of thing: “We want to be more efficient, we want to be more effective, we want to reduce waste”.
Of course all businesses want to do this but, unless you can specify exactly what it means in your terms, it is going to be difficult to measure. The truth is clarity of results is the bedrock of achieving great results.
Determine The Contributors To A Successful Result
If you are clear about what it is you want to achieve, you can start to get specific about what it is that is going to contribute to that result. These are sometimes referred to as the critical success factors. Sometimes people will think it is all about having enough resources or, more specifically, having more money. However you can have all the money you need but if you don’t use it wisely it will never make a difference.
Some other contributors to a successful result include things like having people with the right skills. On teams, having the right blend of experience and attributes are big factors. For example, it is great to have some creative folks on a team and at the same time you need people who can take the big ideas and craft them into something tangible.
Select People To Maximise The Number of Contributors To Success
By doing this you ultimately increase the chances of delivering the result you desire. Try to avoid the best buddy or people you like trap. You want people who can bring that challenge and rational thought as much as you do the extroverts. Select people based on what they can contribute.
Create Appropriate Reward Structures
So often organisations talk about the team difference then fail to align the way they reward people to reflect this. Appropriate reward structures are those which put team working at the heart rather than making working in splendid isolation the priority. Collaboration needs to be viewed more favourably than competition otherwise personal agendas will rule.
Have An Action Orientation
It is important to brainstorm, generate options and evaluate them. We all know that things start to happen when decisions are made and plans are put into action. Whether the plans work out quite as we hoped or not, we always get insights and learning, and generally we can make small adjustments that make big differences.
Forget About Hierarchy
Just because someone is the most senior does not mean that they are always the best person to lead. For each stream of work that a team is moving forward, you want the person who is best equipped to lead to take the lead rather than choosing based on hierarchy.
Give Everyone A Voice
The reality is that everyone on the team usually has a voice but sometimes there are people on teams who love the sound of their own voice so much that their levels of listening are poor. A good leader will facilitate people listening to each other.
Getting the best results from teams is more than just bringing a bunch of people together. It’s about creating the conditions for success.
By John Vaughan