Team Building: Creating a High Performance Culture
Effective Team Building: Further methods for creating a high performance culture.
Team building and team work is key driver to the group’s and organizations success. Within any team, you’ll find a variety of different people and personalities each with a different task or assignment. The most effective team cultures thrive where team members recognize and appreciate that everyone else on the team has important value to contribute.
According to Andrew Carnegie – a highly regarded business consultant, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Team building is the art of creating and sustaining a culture (or structure) that requires everyone’s active participation.
Furthermore, team building is an essential component in creating a high performance culture. In addition to building trust, increasing job satisfaction and fostering a climate of openness, team building increases productivity and enhances employee loyalty. High functioning teams possess certain traits and characteristics that ensure that goals are met, differences of opinion are valued and that new ideas are “vetted” in an appropriate and timely manner.
Characteristics of Effective Teams:
- There’s a shared belief in the value and achievability of the team’s goals.
- RESPECT diversity.
- Active listening skills.
- Heightened awareness of the value of each individual’s role and contribution – even when there’s conflict – recognizing that other’s input will contribute to the “vetting” process.
- Continuous building of relationships with the common denominator of trust and respect.
- Shared desire to work collaboratively.
- Efficient balancing of task and processes.
- Effective planning before acting.
- Create synergy and interdependence where/when possible to involve members in clear problem soling and decision making.
- Stay on task with a shared vision of what the team needs to achieve.
- Periodically access progress, identify potential roadblocks, clarify misunderstandings/misinformation, clarify objectives and communicate effectively.
- Adheres to a code of conduct that not only respects diversity and the opinions of others but provides a framework for resolving conflict.
- Recognizes and reward individual’s performance that supports the teams objectives.
- Practice continuous improvement.
It goes without saying, but for each issue someone needs to be recognized as the “leader”; someone has to believe that it is their responsibility to drive an issue otherwise it will be overlooked and forgotten. For each issue, there’s a sub-set of individual’s who are most appropriate to make contributions. For example, if the issue is related to technology, those with a better than average knowledge of the organizations IT capabilities would most likely be the one’s the team would want to hear from first.
The team structure that develops (either formally or informally) will be flexible such that the right people work together for any given topic. It also means that a leader for one issue might be only a contributor for another – and vice versa. A can be B’s “boss” in some aspects of the teamwork, but B might be A’s boss in others. In truly effective teams, the actual team leader fosters- if not promotes – the belief that he/she is a peer as it relates to the group dynamics.
The team leader that resists the occasional urge to pull rank and encourages the larger group to arrive at the best possible solution is not only secure in his/her role but is truly committed to achieving the greatest good – which will only reflect positively on him/her in the end. As a fan of the noted author, Peter Drucker, he states “No executive has ever suffered because his subordinates were strong and effective.”
As a follower of both Drucker and Carnegie, I consistently work toward developing my team members to be stronger and more effective by creating the expectation that they must work and function in a strategic manner. Personally and professionally, I have found great success in not only being focused on executing strategy, but also in leading others to be more strategic about their individual roles. According to Drucker, Strategy and leadership must go hand in hand at all levels.
For additional information on team work and team building, I’d suggest the following resources.
Additional Resources on Team Building:
Other Online Resources:
Books and Periodicals:
Team Motivation: Ideas to Energize Any Team, by Peter B. Grazier
1001 Ways to Reward Employees (Paperback), by Bob Nelson
Effective Teambuilding: How to Make a Winning Team (Effective¦ Series) (Paperback), by John Adair
Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail, by R Meredith Belbin
Strategy and Leadership: Leading the Effort From the Top, by Peter Drucker
How To Build Effective Team Work, By Rosemary Rein
Mike Russell is a seasoned professional with three decades of experience in the fields of HR and OD. In addition to having a career trajectory of HR Generalist to a VP within ten years, Mike also has a long and successful background as a Consultant/Business Partner to CEO’s, Presidents and Executive Directors in both the private and non-profit communities across a wide spectrum of industries.
As the sole-proprietor and owner of Organizational Development Solutions (ODS), Mike partners with business leaders committed to insulating their organization(s) from potential liability, increasing organizational effectiveness and adding shareholder value.
To contact Mike please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org