All of the corporate roles I’ve had involved teams – hundreds of them. There were teams driving process improvement, facilitating mergers and acquisitions, and overseeing the development of products and services, among others.
Whether it was leading them, facilitating them, being on them, creating or disbanding them, the path was the same. Each team was made up of a diverse set of individuals (different roles, personalities, backgrounds, points of view) who came together for a common purpose and to work through the tasks at hand.
Those teams collaborated to drive dollar savings, revenue increases, product creation, and company integrations with varying levels of success. When I reflected back on less than successful teams, one came to mind and I started to consider what led to its demise.
I realized the members lacked a common understanding of the overall group goal and team members were not consistent in their commitment level as highlighted in inconsistent attendance levels. Other aspects that led to the breakdown in the team alignment were not including an opportunity to re-assess the goal to see if it remained appropriate. In addition, clues were missed indicating that something needed to be adjusted, which resulted in slow response to taking corrective action. The group also became less cohesive as members started to break into sub-groups based on common characteristics.
In flipping those characteristics to see what successful teams might have in common, I noticed there were strong parallels between the workings of a successful team and the dynamics of an individual working towards a goal or outcome.
Whether working on a team goal or a personal goal, several key factors are needed:
- Be clear – The goal needs to be well-defined and understood
- Be aligned – All parts of you have to be working together – body, mind, and soul
- Be committed – When obstacles arise, commitment allows you to work through them
- Be accountable – Show up and do the work
- Be aware – Watch for clues indicating adjustments are needed
- Be open – Input from others (mentors, coaches, etc.) can lead to better outcomes
- Be in integrity – Don’t work against yourself
How do your goals stack up against these criteria? Are you working on a pathway that moves you forward, or are the steps ahead built on a shaky foundation?
Are you or your organization unclear or fragmented in your goals or values? Maybe it’s time to contact Systems of Change for an alignment assessment – Connect with Mindy.