Create a Team Charter to Go Faster and Smarter

Team Charter Diagram

Victor’s team had recently delivered a couple of large projects, and he was pleased with their performance. But there was feedback that they were feeling burned out, and two people had recently requested transfers.

When I suggested creating a Team Charter, he told me, “Planning is fine, but I’m all about action. I’d rather see people take action and feel ownership than set up a bunch of rules that slow things down.”

Is Victor right? Absolutely!

When people initiate action, they assume greater responsibility for ensuring a successful outcome.

Is Victor wrong? Absolutely!

When people take random action without clear agreements with others, they are likely to waste their time and other’s as well.

Here’s the paradox:

. . . → Read More: Create a Team Charter to Go Faster and Smarter

The 12 Team Behaviors That Drive Team Performance

Team Behaviors

What can you do as a team member to help your team achieve The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams? There are 12 team behaviors that directly affect the quality of your team’s results, the ability to make smart decisions and the commitment to implement them.

Task behaviors focus on what is needed to get the job done. They ensure that an intelligent process is used to make smart decisions. But task behaviors alone are not enough.

In order to ensure decisions will be implemented, team members need to feel good about how decisions were made. This is why maintenance behaviors are just as important.

Become a “Participant – Observer.”

Each of the 12 team behaviors is important for your team to be effective. Most . . . → Read More: The 12 Team Behaviors That Drive Team Performance

How Does Your Team Vision Rate?

A real vision is lived, not framed.

Does your team share a real vision? Is it being lived? Does it make a difference?

Answer these 10 questions to find out how effective your vision is.

Get a reality check. Ask everyone on your team to rate the vision and discuss your answers. It’s a non-threatening way to launch a powerful team discussion.

First rate each of the questions on a 1 – 5 scale. Next, find your Score by totaling your responses.

Then find out What Your Score Means and get some ideas to help your team.

Rating Scale

= Rarely = Occasionally = Sometimes = Usually = Almost always

Team Vision Questions 1. Does everyone on your team share the same vision?

2. Are team members excited, inspired and . . . → Read More: How Does Your Team Vision Rate?

Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Provide Leadership

Pride of Lions

The assumption that change has to start at the top is wrong. You don’t have to wait for senior leaders to make it a better place.

Managers don’t have to wait for senior management to start a process of organizational revitalization. ~Michael Beer

The first step in building shared vision is to give up the traditional notion that vision is always announced from “on high.” ~Peter Senge

Begin within your own sphere of influence.

Where do you have the greatest influence? Most likely within your own team. Consider the widest sphere that you can impact. This is the place to start.

Take responsibility to provide leadership.

Leadership is more than just good management practices. Leadership is about going somewhere.

Where . . . → Read More: Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Provide Leadership

Prepare for Creative Tension or It May Cloud Your Vision

Creative Tension

The team was excited and energized. They had created a vision that would lead to the breakthrough they had been looking for.

They set goals and identified next steps, roles and communications. They had a great plan and the means to achieve it.

All set, right?

Wrong.

They fell victim to “creative tension.”

Working toward the vision was not as exciting as the process of creating it. At times it was downright mundane.

It was harder than they had anticipated. It required more work, making adjustments to plans, communications and coordination was more difficult.

Some people began to say the vision wasn’t practical. Others decided they really didn’t want the vision after all.

Soon things on the team returned to normal, and life returned to . . . → Read More: Prepare for Creative Tension or It May Cloud Your Vision

Why Good Teams Make Bad Decisions

When good teams make bad decisions

Did you ever watch in dismay as a good team began to make a series of bad decisions?

It can happen with any kind of team – a work team, sports team, political team, or volunteer team… in any kind of setting – business, government, school, non-profit.

Here’s what happens: The team starts off enthusiastically and moves ahead quickly. Things seem to be humming along, and then, bam! They make some terrible decisions, things come to a screeching halt, and everyone wants to jump ship.

If you’ve ever been a member of one of these teams, you know how devastating it is for all involved. If you wondered what happened, you might find some clues here.

More importantly, if you are currently a member of . . . → Read More: Why Good Teams Make Bad Decisions

The 12 Skills of Brilliant Team Members

Brilliant stars

When Casey got the award at the annual meeting, no one was surprised. He was a marketing genius, and his team’s success was unparalleled in the history of the company. He was clearly a rising star.

The problem was, his fellow team members thought he was a pain in the neck. He wasn’t a team player, he didn’t share information and he kept recognition for himself.

Although aware of Casey’s lack of team skills, senior management was pleased with the results he delivered, and they were afraid that expecting him to be a team player would dampen his brilliance.

They were wrong.

A team can have both brilliant players and great teamwork… if the team is not built around an individual, if team-oriented behaviors are . . . → Read More: The 12 Skills of Brilliant Team Members

Are You a Team Player or a Ninja?

Ninja

You might think you’re a team player, especially if you’re the kind of person who gets things done and is committed to helping your team meet its objectives. But if you don’t also pay attention to how your team works together, you may actually be a ninja – acting solo in service of your team.

The problem with being a ninja is you can inadvertently undermine your team’s effectiveness.

Meet James, a Ninja in Disguise.

When James was asked if he would like to join the new product team, he accepted enthusiastically. He had expertise in several product lines, had launched new products before and prided himself in being a team player.

The company was interested in extending their reach into new markets, and the . . . → Read More: Are You a Team Player or a Ninja?

The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams

Benchmarks-of-Team-Excellence-222x250

In 1996, 51% of US employees were reported to be members of team. By 2006, it had increased to 84%. As our world becomes more complex, the need for teams will continue to grow. Understanding the characteristics of effective teams gives you a target to shoot for and better prepares you to support your team’s development.

Our research* revealed six Benchmarks of Team Excellence:

1) Alignment: Alignment around a shared vision.

All team members are moving in the same direction toward a shared vision. Individual and team goals are related to the purpose of the team. Team members clearly understand their goals and job responsibilities. There is a strong and clear connection between all activities and the purpose of the team.

2) Team Effectiveness: Effective . . . → Read More: The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams