An increasing number of organisational leaders have contacted me of late because they want their teams to work better together…
Typically, they’ve described how their team is doing OK—but it’s just OK. They’ve described how it isn’t really pulling together and cohesively focusing on targeted outcomes.
These organisational leaders commonly talk about how:
- Their “team” is more of a group of individuals—they work in their own silos and focus on their own targeted outcomes, or
- Although people in their team recognise that they have a common purpose, they’re a long way off being a well-oiled powerhouse that reaps the benefits of genuine collaboration and the leverage that real teamwork offers.
What Do The Teams That Get It Right Do?
My insights into the practices and behaviours of teams that “get it right” is that the crucial first step is to ensure that the team is sitting on a solid foundation.
You can’t expect a multi-story building to be crack-resistant if you haven’t provided it with a solid foundation, can you? Slaphappy footings come with a cost!
Like a robust, multi-story building, high performing teams are strong and fracture-proof.
They’ve taken the time to lay a firm foundation on which the team can stand united.
What Does A Team’s Solid Foundation Look Like?
A team’s foundation is solid when its team members have agreed the completion of these five sentences, and when they have them front of mind:
I know that putting time aside to agree on these five perspectives might sound like a big job, but…
If your team hasn’t made the effort to sit around the table and agree its Purpose, Vision, Goals, Strategies and Tactics (PVGSTs), at best, each team member will be working to unstated outcomes—which will be the lowest common denominator.
Let’s contemplate a couple of examples of what this “lowest common denominator might look like”…
Your Team’s Purpose is…
Why your team exists, what value it provides.
Your Team’s Vision is…
A big picture expression of what your team’s excellent 3-5 year future will look like.
The Team’s Goals are…
Your specific, measurable and attainable master plan of the critical areas your team will focus on in the next twelve months.
Your Team’s Strategies are…
For each of your Team Goals, the strategies that you’ll need to implement to ensure that the goal is achieved.
Your Team’s Tactics are…
For each of your Strategies the specific actions you’ll take, by when, to ensure that the strategy is followed.
If an organisation’s Lead Team hasn’t agreed their PVGSTs, it normally (consciously or unconsciously) adopts its organisation’s PVGSTs. And why is this a problem?
It’s a problem because the Lead Team will be neglecting to define and demonstrate critical practices and behaviours that the organisation needs if it’s to maximise its potential.
Imagine how much more effective an organisation’s Lead Team will be when it has Team Goals like:
- “Model exemplary leadership for other leaders in the organisation.”
- “Provide the strategic leadership that ensures we surpass our financial goals”.
- “Ensure employees always feel valued and respected”.
If a National Sales Team only focuses on a generic, corporate sales revenue goal, it’ll overlook key opportunities to drive enhanced results.
Imagine what greater success the National Sales Team will experience when it also has Team Goals such as:
- “Shift our market share from 20% to 25%”
- “Put our nation-wide organisational good ahead of what’s good for a region.”
- “Adopt the practices and behaviours that high performing teams demonstrate”
Your Leadership Call To Action
What steps can you take to turn your team around?
- If your team hasn’t already agreed its Purpose, Vision, Goals, Strategies and Tactics, make it a priority to begin that discussion at your next get together?
- If you need support in creating a solid foundation for your team, and high-performance teamwork, let me know by email and we’ll determine whether or not I can support you.
Remember, high performing teams always develop agreed PVGSTs—it’s their strong, fracture-proof foundation. They know slaphappy footings come with a cost!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.