Sunday, November 7, 2010

Building a Successful Team

Everyone in an organization plays an important role in its overall performance. From mail room to board room, every individual must contribute to success.

It’s no longer enough to be good, you must be exceptional. It is no longer enough to have satisfied customers, you must seek to develop a loyal and delighted customer base. It’s no longer enough to maintain. You must be aggressive, responsive, and quick. Your challenge is getting everyone on your team or in your department committed and focused on achieving organizational success. As an effective team leader, your role is to build the best, strongest, most productive team possible. One that can meet and overcome the adversity that surrounds it. Your team or department’s results, or lack thereof, will be a direct function of the cohesiveness of your team.

Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture in which your employees are encouraged to challenge, to question, to create, and to innovate. Surround yourself with the best people the organization has to offer. Don’t limit yourself by focusing only on people with seniority or rank. Bring people into the team as they are needed based upon their expertise or abilities. Beware of hiring your friends or drinking buddies, as this could be a recipe for disaster.

The ideal team should be led by different types of mentalities, so you get a blend of perspectives. For example, some team members will naturally focus on people issues (feelers), while others will focus on short term tasks and objectives (doers), and still others focus on strategy, vision, and long term planning (thinkers).

Create a culture where people are encouraged to be their best and perform their best. As the goals or projects dictate, you may want to involve multiple team members in different aspects of the project as needed. Furthermore, it may not always be necessary to involve everyone from beginning to end. Always be sure; however, the goals are specific and that they are aligned with the vision, values, and strategies of the organization as defined by management. Alignment must also occur between the department’s activities and its outcomes. If continuous improvement is to occur, your team needs to focus on continuous improvement in all areas. Therefore, measurements and expectations must be developed and reviewed regularly. Get team members involved and delegate ownership of processes and challenges which rightfully belong to them.

The momentum of the team keeps a project going so the probability of success is enhanced. A team’s collective power is much greater than that of any one individual. A sound team culture means the whole effort exceeds the sum of its parts!


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