No doubt you have gone out of your way to hire talent: from experienced heads to eager learners and everyone in between. Every individual in our business then has to fit into our hierarchy, be it the Senior Leadership Team, a cross functional project team or our juniors, out there running the engine of the business. How do we make those teams extraordinary? Do we even try? If we did try, would it work, and would it even make a difference?
I think back to some of the teams that I have been a keen member of: the ops team in my first job (eager, frustrated, trying to change the business and not succeeding), hockey (delight to devastating in the space of 70 minutes), and now the Senior Leadership Team at People Puzzles. When you sit back and reflect, it is clear some years were more successful than others (promotion / demotion) and some were more enjoyable than others, standing out by a camaraderie, the striving for a common goal and everyone pulling their weight.
We use endless sports analogies when it comes to business, but how can we build extraordinary, high functioning teams in our businesses?
For a start, read Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It is a leadership fable: the story of the female CEO of a struggling technology start-up in Silicon Valley. With the funding, the products and the ability to succeed, why aren’t they? The story follows how she builds her dysfunctional leadership team into a highly effective and focused team, leading to the analysis to help us put the lessons into practice in our own businesses. If books don’t do it for you, there is even an illustrated Manga version!
We are so convinced by Lencioni’s model that we have become an Authorised Partner, able to deliver a learning experience which works to build an extraordinary team. It starts with a single session on building trust in your team, with the aim of cutting through the politics and enabling people to focus all their energy and attention on the job at hand.
Building an extraordinary team isn’t an overnight job, and it will probably take a few months to just start the process. But the difference to the atmosphere, your discussions, the way you commit to work together and then the results will change your business.