How can I develop a good team?
A team is a group of two or more individuals who work together in a cooperative union for the achievement of a valuable goal.
Teams are vital to your success because the fact is, you cannot succeed on your own. You need the knowledge, the skills and the native ability of other people. And in addition, you don't have the time or the energy to do all the work yourself. You cannot stabilise the patient and, at the same time, drive the ambulance. You cannot cook the dinner, and at the same time, take the dog for a walk.
It takes teams to get anything done.
For example: If you want to start a business, then you will need help: Financial help, legal help, help with organising and preparing. Help with designing. Help with marketing and sales. Help from other people. These other people are the other members of your team.
So the question stands; How can you develop a good team?
You can easily answer this question by looking at the full definition of the term; "a team": "A team is a group of two or more individuals, with varying skills, who will work together as a cooperative union, to implement an intelligent plan, which is designed to achieve a valuable goal."
With this definition, we have a clue about what factors go to develop a good team. They are:
- A valuable goal at which to aim.
- Two or more people with varying skill sets.
- A willingness to co-operate.
- An intelligent plan.
Let us look at each factor in turn.
1. A valuable goal at which to aim
The first thing a team needs is to share a common, valuable goal. If there is no common goal, the team is not a team; it is simply "a group of people in the same place". And a group of people is not the same as "a team of people".
A group of people only becomes a team when there exists a shared purpose; a shared goal, for which the people can work. The goal is the starting point of all achievement. The goal is the starting point of all teams.
2. Two or more people with varying skill sets
Just as a football team does not consist of 11 goal keepers; your team should not consist of similar types. To properly compose your team, you need people of differing types. This difference and variation gives the team, depth and a range of skills; but it does also introduce the potential for conflicts, as people of different skills sets, abilities and temperaments come together and (sometimes) clash.
The need for variety is crucial for the success of the team. You need some people who are detail-men, other people who are broad-brush thinkers. They need each other, and they irritate each other. But you need both types to make a good team.
3. A willingness to co-operate
Cooperation is a state of mind which is characterised by a willingness to work with others, not against them.
Despite the fact that your team is made up of individuals who vary widely in their personalities and abilities and temperaments, they all share a common goal (see point one above). They need a common goal to bring them together. But they need to be preparing to stay together by agreeing to work as a co-operative alliance. A willingness to co-operate combined with a shared, common purpose is the epoxy-resin that binds the team together.
Cooperation, is the soul of the effective team, meaning: the willingness to work together, engage in joint action, combined effort, offer mutual support, develop partnerships and a sense of unity. Without cooperation, the team dissolves into a fragmented internally divided non-team.
4. An intelligent plan
So, let us assume you have a shared goal, and at least two cooperative people willing to work to achieve the goal, then what is the next thing on the list?
You need a plan that is capable of achieving the goal. Let us call such a plan, an "intelligent plan". An intelligent plan is a written document that sets out the steps and methods and procedures that will bring about the achievement of the goal, in the most efficient manner possible. To the degree to which you have an intelligent plan, is the same degree to which you can expect to be successful.
To the degree to which you lack such a plan, is the degree to which you can expect your teams' efforts to fail.
Every team needs an intelligent plan: One capable of achieving the goal.
Question: do you think that your team is operating according to an intelligently designed, goal directed, detailed plan?
If not. Stop doing what you are doing and start writing detailed written plans of action.
Unplanned, ill thought out action is inefficient, riddled with errors and omissions and is ineffective.
Never leave home without two things in your mind:
- A specific goal.
- A detailed and intelligent plan.
Combine that with a group of cooperative people, and your future prospects suddenly look more optimistic.
If you want to train your team in the application of these principles:
- Setting and achieving goals.
- Working with, not against each other.
- Effective planning.
Then please, call us.