In the last two posts I’ve focused on planning season and what it takes to successfully drive business from Point A to Point B. Another responsibility of leaders is to keep people moving from being a Group to being a Team. How are you handling this part of your job today? How are you planning for this as you look ahead to FY12?
Leaders who are “team-builders” are looking out for the bottom line. Competition for talent has never been higher. Many of our clients are experiencing this situation. Taking time to develop individual and collective capacity doesn’t just increase engagement and performance; it increases retention, which reduces expenses for the company.
So as you’re planning for FY12, what will you do to ensure your people continue to move from acting like a group to performing like a highly-effective team? Arie de Gues, author of The Living Company (Great book. Read it!), says that our job as leaders is to “create the conditions in which people will voluntarily give their best.”
Here’s a checklist to help you ensure that you are creating the conditions that are always moving your people from group to team:
• Does your team have clarity and alignment of what you are trying to achieve and why?
• Does your team understand and accept your strategy and execution plan to achieve your objective?
• Does your team understand and accept their individual roles and responsibilities?
• Does your team have the structure, systems, and process you need?
• Does your team have the appropriate level of resources?
• Does your team have a culture, working relationship, and way of communicating that supports your efforts?
• Does your team have a positive example of leadership to model?
• Does your team have the aptitude (knowledge and skill) to successfully execute your strategy?
• Does your team have the attitude (motivation and behavior) to engage and perform at a high level?
• Does your team have the opportunity to learn?
• Do you have succession planning in place to cover contingencies?
One of your jobs as a leader is to ensure that you and your team always answer the above questions in the affirmative. If your FY12 plan does include or address these questions in some way, you’re starting out at a disadvantage. You may come up with the most amazing strategy in the history of the world. And culture eats strategy for breakfast. Every. Day.
Do yourself a favor. Do your team a favor. Do your company’s bottom line a favor. As you plan for FY12, plan for how you will develop your people and move them from working as a group to performing as a team.