Today and tomorrow I will be offering a couple ideas to accelerate team greatness. Today, I will chat a bit about functional and cross-functional teams and tomorrow I will discuss management and leadership teams.
"Vision without action is merely a dream; Action without vision just passes the time; Vision with action can change the world."?? Joel Barker
One way to be great is the plan for greatness. A common reason teams don´t reach their potential is that they neither reach for nor define greatness.
Here’s an idea. I have tried it and it has worked… (Put aside your aversion for "fluff"?? meetings for a minute. Actually, this process is 100% business, but you might think it looks like fluff until you try it.)
Periodically, say every 6 months, the team should get together to do a little Appreciative Inquiry Vision Planning. Those are 50 cent words for defining what greatness looks like and then getting the team aligned to the vision for greatness.
The Setup: Schedule a meeting with the desired outcome of getting everyone´s input on how the team can max out the scales of success and satisfaction.
Here are the pre-work questions. Ask folks to think about, and jot down a few examples for each statement (this is for their notes and will not be collected):
Think about a time when you "rocked"?? — when you were extraordinary.
Think about a time when, together, the team "rocked."??
Think about a time when it was hard to contain your excitement at work.
Think about a time when you felt truly valued and acknowledged.
Think about a time when you felt connected — to a group, the company, the product, the customers.
Think about a time when you felt success.
During the meeting:
Warm up the team by asking for a few examples for each pre-work statement (2-3 answers to each, recorded with a flip chart). Ensure everyone participates.
Brainstorm the answers to the following:
If the team is insanely successful over the next 3 years, what will we have accomplished? What will be different? What will be the same? What have we created? (Take as much time as needed and record the answers so everyone can see them.)
Take a 5-10 minute break
Brainstorm the answers to the following (Take as much time as needed. On average, each will take 10-15 minutes):
If that´s what insane success looks like, let´s determine who we need to be as a team to produce those results.
How will we communicate?
What procedures, practices and processes will we use/put in place?
How will we focus, plan and execute work?
How will we impact other groups, departments and customers?
How will we grow and develop?
How will we ensure we stay engaged in the work?
How will we feel about our jobs?
What will our relationships look like?
How will we deal with problems, barriers, stoppages and slowdowns?
This process has begun to define: What is "the best we can be"?? as a team?
Get people’s thoughts about the ideas shared today. Let them know the agenda for the next meeting and ask them to begin thinking about the answers.
Take a break of a few days….Notice the team dialogue.
The next meeting:
To be the best we can be and produce insane results (summarize and review from the last meeting):
What do we need to start?
What do we need to stop?
What do we need to continue?
Take as much time as needed. Prioritize the output. Make things happen – don´t just let this be another planning meeting that changes nothing. Have the information from both meetings become part of the regular dialogue. Try to stop what needs to stop ASAP. Use the output to create need team ground rules and to create team and individual development plans. And to get fired up!
From this, create the plan for having a compelling team environment that delivers.