Teams are a primary tool for organizations to get work done. Teams function in a wide variety of ways and for many purposes.
This guide describes my understanding of how a team functions in a more open, collaborative manner.
The guide is divided between a list describing the characteristics of a team member, and how to strategically develop a team.
The guide purpose is to facilitate conversation, not to act as a formula that every team be like. The conversation should be open and responsible. Your discussion advance your team toward greater clarity, alignment and ownership of your teams. The guide is a starting point for understanding what your team should be like. In other words, this guide is not the last word on teams. It is just a tool for establishing a basis for discussion within a team about how their work should be conducted .
In some contexts, I refer to these teams as Collaborative Network Groups. These teams can take many forms as way to support members, and creater a higher level of collaboration across organizational boundaries.
I am part of a few Collaborative Network Groups. One is the Lessons in Leadership corp group. Another is the Collaborative Solutions Group, a collection of individuals from a wide diversity of companies and disciplines within the financial services industry. Our principal focus is family-held businesses, though not exclusively. (If this interests you, get in touch.)How To Use This Guide:
Take your team through a discussion of the Member Characteristics. Have each member evaluate the team based on these criteria. Do this anonymously. Talk about each characteristic and determine how to measure each. As you do so, use the Circle of Impact guide for your discussion. You can ask your questions this way.
Do team members practice personal initiative in sharing ideas, building stronger relationships and improving the functioning of the group?
Does the team have a giving-orientation? Do team members take initiative to help other team members in ways that build a more collaborative group?
Questions like these open up the awareness of members to see how their team is functioning. This takes time, and needs a willingness by members to be open and transparent. If you can overcome resistance to change, your team will become more effective.