REAL ISSUES: GETTING OUR TEAMS IN THE RIGHT "GEAR" TO ACHIEVE TEAM-BASED SUCCESS

By Jean Lee

General Manager, Organisation Development

jeanlee@pace-od.com

Deloitte's report continues by recommending that organisations break functional groups that previously fulfilled tasks like product design, engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, into teams focused on product releases, customers, markets, or geographies, in order to support and promote “scalable learning.” Significantly, these teams should be smaller, flatter, more empowered, and leadership should not be from behind a desk, but more hands-on.

As John Hagel, co-chairman for Deloitte LLP’s Center for the Edge was quoted in Deloitte's “Predictions for 2017" research report, the key to organisational success today is not “scalable efficiency,” but “scalable learning.”

This means our organisations need to move away from just being big and efficient, towards experimentation and putting prototype products in front of customers, with a focus on customer-centric learning and reducing time to market.

To facilitate such a transition in organisational design, it is helpful to consider changing the rewards system in our organisations to reward team — and not just individual —  success. For this to happen successfully, I suggest that we not only consider the hardware factors of strategy, structure, and systems, but the more critical “heart-ware” of helping one’s constituents go beyond mere agreement with the need for a system that rewards team success, to embracing it as a way of work.

As leaders, let's considergetting our teams in the right “GEAR” by:

Getting your team onboard

Many of us are familiar with working in teams, and might fall into thinking that the practices that make us effective in a team will also make us effective in a network of teams. Yet this is an erroneous mindset, and as leaders, we need to help our constituents visualise and grasp how working in a network of teams is different from the team settings they are used to. When we make the transition from a team to a network of teams, we need to first ask ourselves and then answer to our constituents: What remains the same that we need to preserve? What's different that we need to adapt to and change?

Enabling your team to function well in the new way of work

As there will always be new knowledge, attitudes, or skills one needs to acquire in order to function effectively in a new way of work, we cannot expect team members to immediately perform well in new team structures. As leaders, we need to discern what competencies need to be developed in our teams. For example, are there team skills or team bonds that we need to build?

In addition, having an understanding of psychologist Bruce Tuckman's “Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing” model that describes the stages individuals go through as they relate to one another in a new team setting, will help speed your team to the performing stage more quickly.

Assessing your team's progress and keeping them on track

Acquiring a new skill is only the beginning. Leaders need to help create the discipline of application. One way to do that is to revise the performance appraisal system to evaluate employees based on team outcomes.

Recognising and Rewarding Desired Behaviours

What you recognise and reward sends a strong message to what’s valued in the organisation. To anchor the culture around team-based success, leaders need to recognise the shared values and behaviours of collaboration and reward team-based outcomes.

Are the teams in your organisation in the right “GEAR” to achieve team-based success? We’d love to hear from you at connect@pace-od.com!