New teams are formed every day… music bands, sports teams, school and church groups, military troops and units, business teams, organizations and companies. Having been a member of hundreds of teams, I’ve noticed that many teams start in the reactive Danger Zone* by ‘doing things’, ‘tackling issues’, ‘solving problems’, and ‘completing tasks’ without taking critical and important proactive planning steps. From myPerspective, It’s a Mistake*. While these first steps may solve issues in the short-term, the probability of long-term team success is low with this approach. These may sound familiar…unhappy and unengaged team members…low productivity and commitment… frustration…Bad Medicine* team members bringing down the rest of the team…leaders forcing team members to accomplish tasks. No one wants these on their teams! We ALL want successful teams. But…how do we create ‘High Performing Teams’? This post, the third of a mini-series dubbed myPerspective, provides some insight for this.
First of all, this proactive team building approach requires commitment and repetition. You can’t be Too Shy* with this. The concepts, steps, and terminology should be repeated like the chorus of Mickey*…in weekly leadership, one-to-one, and staff meetings, discussed in every day verbal and written communications, posted on walls and bulletin boards, emphasized in staff recognition programs, ‘woven’ into team and staff goals and annual reviews, with leaders, staff, contractors, and vendors. Encourage and inspire creativity around this with your team and You Can Do Magic* with your team! So…This Is It*; myPerspective on how to build a ‘High Performing Team’.
PURPOSE! Why form the team? What is the team name? Do we have a ‘slogan’? What is the vision of the team? Do we have special common ‘values’? Does this align with other teams, parent organizations, etc.? Who are the team leaders? Answer these critical questions WITH the team’s involvement to drive team member engagement, motivation, commitment and productivity! Keep it Fresh* and create a team symbol or icon. Develop a mission statement. Define the team scope, products, or functions. DON’T skip this step!
TEAM STRUCTURE! Who’s on first? What’s on Second? What resources do we need? Do we have the resources and skills? Do we need to promote from within or hire resources? Permanent resources or contractors? How do we divide the team to accomplish the scope? What are the job titles, roles and job descriptions? Who will focus on projects, day-to-day operations, and ongoing support? Consider immediate needs, but Lay It Down*; a foundation for the future. Yes, more questions to answer, but REMEMBER! be sure to leverage the team’s creativity for these.
STRATEGY/GOALS/PROJECTS! What is the 2-3 year strategic plan? Consider the following: People, Process, Information, and Technology/Tools. Then, once a 2 to 3 year plan is in place, what does the first year look like? Define 3-5 goals for year one? Any key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics? What initiatives or projects are required to accomplish these goals? Define the purpose and specific outcomes of these. What is required for day-to-day operations and ongoing support? Great questions to ponder… BUT…Don’t forget to ensure these align with your Purpose AND Pour Some Sugar On..* your team to inspire innovation!
COMMUNICATION and DEVELOPMENT!How will we communicate? Leaders to team? Team to Leaders? Leaders to Leaders? With 3rdparties, vendors, consultants, clients, customers, etc. How will we conduct effective meetings? What tools will we use? Processes to follow? How will we develop our staff, learn new skills, grow? Don’t Stop Believin*! Keep your team engaged with this and your team will be Thunderstruck* with excitement!
EXECUTE! Now with a ‘Totally Awesome’Purpose, a Hit Me With Your Best Shot*Team Structure, Walk This Way*Strategy/Goals/Projects, and a People are People*Communication and Developmentplan, go and build your team to perform at the highest level possible.
Thanks for reading. Please share your ideas, thoughts, and examples in the comments. Also check back in two weeks as we tackle another topic in the next installment ofmyPerspective.
1.Danger Zone, Kenny Loggins, 1986
2.It’s a Mistake, Men at Work, 1983
3.Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi, 1988
4.Too Shy,Kajagoogoo, 1983
5.Mickey,Tony Basil, 1982
6.You Can Do Magic,America, 1982
7.This Is It,Kenny Loggins, 1979 (close enough)
8.Fresh,Kool & the Gang, 1985
9.Lay It Down, Ratt, 1985
10.Pour Some Sugar On Me,Def Leppard, 1987
11.Don’t Stop Believin,Journey, 1981
12.Thunderstruck, AC/DC, 1990 (close enough)
13.Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Pat Benatar, 1980
14.Walk This Way, Run DMC, 1986 (Aerosmith, 1975-original)
15.People are People, Depeche Mode, 1984