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Steps to Taking Teamwork Seriously


I continue to be amazed by the number of people in organisations who truly believe that their organisation is really taking teamwork seriously and that all their team managers, leaders and supervisors are all capable of recruiting, leading and supporting high performance of their teams. Here are some examples:


a. The organisation that has 'Teamwork' as a key company value with it being emblazoned on their office walls, website and literature, and yet, does not think it is a priority capability for continual development and as such nothing happens around team development.


b. The company that promotes from within, and whilst they put their new managers on a development programme, the amount of content on leading effective teams is scant. The majority of material is focused on developing process capability and on managing individual performance.


c. An organisation sales director who loves so-called 'teambuilding' and invests heavily in conference 'team games', which although are good fun, have no effective facilitation of learning and certainly no 'follow-through' to ensure sustained enhanced teamwork in the workplace. This is just 'corporate entertainment'.


d. The company director who simply thinks that if you add all the individual performances together this constitutes a team performance. No need for any other 'team like' processes in their opinion. Blinkered thinking and their organisation is simply not fulfilling their true potential and despite hitting targets, these targets are in reality too low.


The fact is that if you are serious about teamwork then you have to work at it. You have to ensure that if you are bold enough to communicate that teamwork is onw of your key corporate values, then you have to ensure that this value truly 'lives and breathes' in every employee , not just in the team managers and team leaders. Otherwise it's just (to use a recent quote from COP26), 'blah, blah, blah'


You need to go back to basics and ensure everyone, especially the managers, know exactly what teamwork entails and what knowledge and skills are required to ensure that your teams are operating effectively and to their full potential.


So, here's a simple test for you. Score your company our of 10, 1 point if you can honestly say 'Yes' to each individual question.


All our team managers, leaders and Supervisors are fully aware of, and can effectively utilise the following:


1. The Performance Curve and the various steps needed to move their team through the various types of team.

2. The Tuckman Model and using this to guide their teams through the 'storm'.

3. Firmly establish the team performance basics through the PARTNERS framework.

4. Create psychological safety through effective use of Maslow's and DIAMOND-MOTIVATION.

5. Their teams have a formal Team Development Plan.

6. Their Teams have a formal Team Contract or Charter.

7. There is a dedicated team review process that covers progress of the team's performance against their goals and objectives alongside review of the team development plan and team contract or charter.

8. Their teams have regular shared learning, dedicated success sharing and team problem solving sessions.

9. The managers are fully capable of constructively managing the 'disruptives' like the 'spoon-feds', the 'prima donnas', the 'loudmouths' and the 'dark angels'.

10. The Team has a internal 'stakeholder map' and a 'stakeholder engagement' strategy which is enhancing and reinforcing the 'team brand' within the organisation.


These are just the essential 'basics' to team performance, so what's your score out of 10. If you score 8 or more, then I would like to chat to you as you are displaying some great team capabilities and I'd like to showcase these. If you are around the 5-7 mark then you have a decent base and can develop quite easily. Below 5 and you've a lot work to do.

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