Building teamwork fast

You have a new product or service or you’re about to launch a new organisational initiative, how you to ensure the best possible chance of success?

Many important steps need to be taken to create a robust plan to deliver your new organisational initiative.  Project planning tools will help ensure your don’t miss the vital parts of your project progression. Change management planning will keep you focus on how your human resource will be engaged and committed to its success.

One area that tends to be missed is making sure the management team is a unifying force in leading the initiative.

The saying goes “fish rots from the head”. This means failure is the responsibility of the boss.  While that might be a sweeping generalisation to some, the consummate leader will accept that they are responsible for what fails and the team will be responsible for any success.

Getting the top team working as one will increase the chances of achieving your business objectives. Better to do that by design rather than chance.

During the implementation of your strategy what happens when things don’t go to plan, or when your team is spread in different locations having to make decisions and choices that can impact on each other?

There is a simple way to support the team to be effective under the stress and strain of delivery. This is important as you (and the staff) are looking for them to provide clear leadership and direction to the wider organisation.

Putting a contract on your team

Creating a working agreement will give the team a practical understanding of how each member works together to achieve the desired goals.

At its most practical, a working agreement must identify the following:

  1. The initiative or business goal you are to going to achieve.
  2. The behaviours and working processes which are important to each person.
  3. How issues will be dealt with should anything arise that contradicts the working agreement.

You can be as formal or informal as you like. I have heard this method of reaching agreement called ‘contracting’.  A contract is also an expression used by the “Mob” to sort out a disagreement…. those sorts of contracts aren’t usually written down!

I recommend documenting your agreement. Note the goal, the points the team perceives as important, and how you will come together if the agreement is broken.

For a simple project simply having the conversation may deal with many issues, but writing it down will be useful should conflict arise.

Whatever the terminology and however you construct one, a working agreement avoids friction from misunderstanding.

Works for any team

While I’ve focused here on a management teams, I have used this approach in many teams from content and brand creatives to hard wired technical teams and at times a mixture of both.  It ultimately helps improve team performance because everyone is clear about how “we get things done in this team“.