In our line of work, we get to see a lot of teams. Good teams, bad teams, highly-effective teams and teams so dysfunctional we wonder how the business has kept from falling apart!
The truth is, whether the team will be together for just a short time or will be working together long-term, the principles that apply for building a great team are the same.
1. Embrace Diversity
Building an effective team is a nuanced and complex thing. As we see with sports teams, for example, you don’t just need the hotshots and the top experts – you need people to play supporting roles and to carry different loads to make the whole thing work. From personalities to temperaments, teams thrive when things are balanced.
When everyone agrees and has the exact same background or competency, you’re left with enormous blind spots. Opinions will go unchallenged, ideas will go unquestioned and generally you form a team of “yes men” that will not innovate or identify opportunity through conflict.
Conflict within teams can be good! In fact, it is arguably the hallmark of a great team.
2. Know Your Blind Spots
Know your personal limitations so that you can recruit a team that compliments your talents and fills out your vision. Be self-aware, and create an environment where saying “I don’t know” is not seen as a weakness or a liability. The ability to a be honest with yourself is crucial; it will open the doors for you to find people who are able to round out the areas that need it for a 360 degree view.
3. Define the Organizational Fit
Know how the team and their work fit within the organization before you start working. Understand how your team fits within the global marketplace as well, as most organizations are engaged in that marketplace. Define your role, your goals and the people you answer to – whether that’s internal, or to outside stakeholders.
Don’t let your team be a casualty of poor planning. Before you get going, chart all of these considerations out and open the floor to discussions. Head into things with an attitude that promotes diversity, identifies limitations and knows what’s at stake – and you’ll find your team works much better.
See our video on this topic by clicking here (new window).