Great teams hum along. Not because they don’t know the words, but because they flow in a seamless, organic way. Work gets done on time with little drama; the air crackles with creativity and shared ideas, and everyone is excited to be there.
The nature of group work is such that individual characteristics and behaviours emerge that either support the greater good or disrupt and subvert it. In these scenarios, work is completed successfully and timely, or it’s eventually completed under duress, not because of the team but in spite of it. A group with a positive dynamic stands out; it’s the result of the trust each member places in the other, and how they work together and are accountable for making things happen. Statistically, strong teams are more creative than teams with poor dynamics.
While many organizations wave the concept of teamwork like a rallying flag, they don’t really know what it is or how to achieve it. Nor do they understand the value strong teams bring to everything they do and the company’s bottom line. For these organizations, teamwork is nothing more than a marketing tool, an unrealized promise. That doesn’t bode well for building confidence and trust in your employees. It takes impact to create impactful teams. Here’s how to bring IMPACT to your team building and management, and why you’ll be glad you did.
Innovation, the result of unbridled creativity, is a critical quality for organizations looking for a competitive edge and longevity. These companies create environments that encourage and celebrate creativity and innovation because they know that’s where positive change happens. Strong teams combine the creative process – inventing, producing and making – with the innovation required to uncover new processes, methods and business models, and adapt to change – a recipe for success in any organization.
Successful organizations know that a motivated team is more productive, engaged and happier. They’re empowered to make decisions concerning their work based on clear expectations, which increases their confidence, engagement and ability to make good decisions. They understand that they rise or fall as a team and are likewise recognized for their successes.
Like rainwater, positivity runs downhill. A positive, energetic leader who inspires confidence, encourages collaboration and creativity, and looks for the silver lining helps their team overcome obstacles, seek creative solutions and support each other through stressful, trying times – an ‘all for one, one for all’ atmosphere.
Successful teams are flexible and agile. They understand that things change and problems arise often without warning. They’re better able to ‘go with the flow’, change direction and successfully complete projects because they don’t get caught up in the change itself but in the process of overcoming its challenges.
Adaptability and creativity are at the heart of true collaboration, something strong teams and the organizations that employ them, depend on to be successful. Highly functioning teams understand expectations, are clear on goals and objectives, and make good decisions; they’re encouraged to openly communicate, express opinions, suggestions and concerns, and to disagree with each other (often strongly) in a supportive environment; all these qualities define collaboration.
A strong team knows what the goals are on many levels. Each member has a clear understanding of what their role is and what part they play in the larger picture. They have a strong leader who can be counted on to take charge when necessary, isn’t threatened by individual autonomy but supports the creative process, provides leadership and direction when called for, and acts as a dependable sounding board. Similarly, a strong team has built a solid foundation of trust among its members so each individual knows someone has their back, and all members can be counted on to pull their weight and be accountable to each other. Instead of the blame game, no-one gets thrown under the bus because they’re all passengers onboard.
Building a team that has impact takes focus, commitment and a strong desire to help people bring their best to the group experience. But the rewards are substantial. What kind of team would you like to build?