For me, it is surprising how much money and time is invested in technology and knowledge gain and how little is invested in building cohesive teams. Every time when I work with a team, I realise that knowing the “what” is not the problem, people know what they should do to get better results. The challenge is in the “HOW”, and how to implement the “what”.
Now, everything we want to know is at 1 Click distance. Information is everywhere and easily accessible. And the gap between what we know and what we do it getting bigger.
In these days of rapid change and overload of information, teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage that has been largely overlooked.
There is time, and energy spent on being up to date with technology and information, the latest tools, but not so significant investment in building effective and cohesive teams.
Why is this happening?
Teamwork is hard to measure. Why? Because it impacts the outcome of the organisation in such comprehensive and invasive ways that it’s virtually impossible to isolate it as a single variable.
As difficult as teamwork is to measure, its power cannot be denied. When people come together, have a common goal and support each other, they can accomplish what might have looked impossible on paper.
Patrick Lencioni says in his book “The five dysfunctions of a team” that the recipe for building a strong cohesive team has 5 ingredients:
Members of a high functioning team trust one another on a fundamental, emotional level, and they are comfortable being vulnerable with each other about their weaknesses, mistakes, fears, and behaviours. They get to the point where they can be completely open with one another, without filters.
2. Healthy Conflict
Trust is a requirement for having healthy conflict. Teams that trust one another are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to the organisation’s success. They do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge, and question one another, all in the spirit of finding the best answers, discovering the truth, and making great decisions.
Teams that engage in unfiltered conflict are able to achieve genuine buy-in around important decisions, even when various members of the team initially disagree. That’s because they ensure that all the opinions and ideas are put on the table and considered, giving confidence to the team members that no stone has been left unturned.
Teams that commit to decisions and standards of performance do not hesitate to hold one another accountable for adhering to those decisions and standards. What is more, they don’t rely on the team leader as the primary source of accountability; they go directly to their peers. It is far more effective when team members go directly to one another and give frank, honest feedback.
Teams that trust one another, engage in healthy conflict, commit to decisions and hold one another accountable are very likely to set aside their individual needs and agendas and focus almost exclusively on what is best for the team. They do not give in the temptation to place their departments, career aspirations, or ego-driven status ahead of the collective results that define team success.
Every time when I finish this process with a team and the team is built on trust, shares their perspectives, have a common and clear direction, are committed, they keep each other accountable and focus on results, they are unstoppable. The energy, enthusiasm and belief make the impossible possible in a cohesive team.
How do you do this? Join us in a complimentary session where we discuss the first ingredient of building a strong, cohesive team.