The more we learn about and work with teams, the more we focus on the proven fundamentals, with three issues in the forefront:
- The goal(s) are not clear—Teams most often have stated goals, but lack real clarity about exactly what the end-state looks like.
- The roles are unclear and complex—Members have titles and functional accountability, but decision rights and process are often vague. And too often, teams assume that communication and action will evolve because they’re smart, logical people.
- Little to no agreement of operating principles—Teams tend to talk about how often and when they will meet on what. It’s only when the team struggles, that they think more carefully about how they will “operate.” What are the behaviors and patterns of action that support the goals?
Our Internal and External Co-Creators Are Mind-Boggling
Most of us want to go to work and get the job done. Just doing the work feels challenging enough. But then add in co-creator committees, sponsors, global leaders, functions, etc. who have a “stake” in the outcome, often with competing interests or just plain differences in views. Teams struggle or avoid digging into what could be a fascinating part of their work together. When teams have a complex set of co-creators, two issues emerge:
- One or two co-creators infuriate or deflate the team—We often think of influencing strategies as pre-selling only. Or, we work hard to state our case louder and clearer. But, we rarely use what we know and get curious about the most difficult people scenarios–to find our pathway to success.
- The dynamics are complicated—It’s not just individual co-creators, but the pattern of action between and among them. Taking the time to map out the people, the actions, and what we know and don’t know starts a team on the path to new understanding, ideas and success.
Doesn’t the small shift to calling these people “co-creators” change your thinking and feeling about how to proceed?
New World of Changing and Virtual Teams
Relatively new (at least in the last decade or so), three realities seem persistent, yet largely unresolved.
- Team membership changes regularly—with the needs of the team, the demands of other business teams, and career development opportunities.
- Most teams are either virtual or partially virtual—the days of team members being on one floor are gone, yet teams and leaders often struggle to set strategies that facilitate effectiveness.
- Team members are demanding in their expectations of leaders—whether driven by the organization or not, often the best people have choices and a voice in securing the next team assignment.
How We Work With You
We work with you and your team in the context of a specific result or set of results—the team’s intended outcomes.
Some aspects are exactly the same as our work with Leaders:
- Tailored and Flexible—because all teams and situations are not the same.
- Data-based—starting with your data, we build an understanding of your current state from the right sources.
- Creation-Focused—setting your sights on exactly what the team wants to make happen—in all of its complexities and uncertainties.
- Commitment to Results—effectiveness as a team and new capability is the baseline; we are all about making an impact on your results.
In addition, we make some key distinctions from team-building:
- It’s not about fun—no we don’t engage in activities that seem irrelevant—it is about meaningful dialogue and decisions!
- It is about the work—we integrate real work into every team meeting.
- Our tools become imbedded in your way of operating—whether about influencing key stakeholders or decisions and more.