Every team, even within the same organization, has a unique blueprint. Comprised by the individuals involved, the tasks to accomplish, and the context in which it engages teams must work together to accomplish desired goals. Several dimensions, as researched by the Center for Creative Leadership, can assist team leaders in both determining and measuring the effectiveness of their teams throughout its life-cycle, particularly as team dynamics shift. These inevitable changes require a committed process to perform to expectations. To build engagement and align internal operations with external stakeholder needs, an effective team should consider six dimensions for implementation and measurement:
- Establishing a Clear Purpose – When clarity exists motivation increases, even through setbacks and obstacles. Often a lack of clarity around team goals, and delegation of authority and responsibility, can lead to team breakdown or failure.
- Empowered Team Structure – An empowered team model is the key to success - allowing the team the structure needed to make the most of its resources - including team formation, member roles and team leadership.
- Strength from Above – Team failure can direct members to look within the organization for a place to lay blame. The counter-balance to this behavior includes high-level support to drive effectiveness, and provide the required resources, training and team rewards.
- Positive Internal Relationships – Unique personalities, differing opinions and other team difficulties can strain relationships, leading to mistrust and power struggles. Team leadership is mission critical to identifying unproductive behavior and implementing interventions that shift the dynamics and refocus team collaboration.
- Positive External Relationships – No team functions in a vacuum. Understanding the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders will foster effective relationships required to meet the team goals.
- Efficient Information Management – Teams are only as effective as the information they utilize, and the process in which they communicate and make decisions.
Written by Shalyn Eyer