Organisations are more than ever relying on teams to achieve their strategic agenda’s yet are increasingly frustrated by the failure of teams to live up to the promise of their collective capability. Teams so often look good on paper, individuals with the right mix of experience and skills to get the job done but few teams rise to high performance and even fewer can sustain this over time.
One of the most common reasons organisational leaders and HR practitioners come to us for help with teams is the challenge of getting team members to step up to accountability. When you dig a little deeper, the cause surprisingly often lies in team members’ lack of clarity about what specifically the team is aiming to achieve. In other words, what does success look like and how will it be good for me?
Contrary to what many believe, teams don’t exist for the sake of being a team, but rather, high performing teams come about through the aligned efforts of individuals committed to achieving a shared objective. It is this focus on a compelling performance result that generates the co creation and interconnectedness of high performing teams.
Shared goals drive performance. Teams that collaboratively define their goals, have bought in to the collective effort and have a strong reason to hold themselves and others accountable. In these teams, members harness their collective diversity, engage in robust debate and invest in the personal relationships that create the social connectedness that underpins trust and collaboration.
With investment in a shared result, teams thrive.
If your team is trying to create the shift from ‘I’ to ‘We’, ask yourself the following; “what is it we are aiming to achieve that no other team in the organization can?” It is the one thing every team should know and yet surprisingly it is a question few teams take the time to ask themselves and even fewer can answer.
Jill Arkell, AltusQ Coach