After covering certain mileage it is wise to take your car in for a service. Failure to do so can create greater challenges and breakdown in the long run. The same applies to teams. As you work people get worn out. As people work closely, relationships can strain. You may be working in the same space but not together. Besides machines needing service, leaders need to service the most important piece of machinery making things happen: her team. Leaders must set aside carefully planned time to service their teams. Things to consider in servicing teams include:
- Us & Them: One of the keys in high performance teams is relationships. Unresolved conflict destroys unity and progress. Valuable energy may be expended in in-house conflict instead of the purposes of the enterprise. Deal with constant and unresolved conflict before it destroys your enterprise. When individuals in a team hardly get along, communication including brainstorming and innovation are adversely affected. Team leaders must consider planning social events without business agendas per se. Interacting in more relaxed setting can help team players understand each other better. Get your team together often to remind them that they are a part of something greater.
- Vision Leaks: I got this from Bill Hybels’ book, Axiom. The idea is, over time, people need to be reminded why they are doing what they are doing. Activity can blur vision. It is not vision but a means to fulfill it. Leaders must constantly remind their teams of this. Use ‘breadcrumbs’ that will connect activity to vision. Departments can easily forget that they are not the enterprise but a part of it. Use time outs to resell your vision to the team that fulfills it.
- Equip: Enterprises fail when decisions to combat a changing external environment are not filtered to those that do the actual work of implementing them. Leaders must always ensure that their team is equal to the task assigned to them, both internally and by external factors. Failure to constantly equip your team as change demands will frustrate your team and guarantee the irrelevance of your enterprise.
What other areas need to taken care of constantly for teams to be fit for high peformance?