Productive Teams Know the Score

Teams are primarily put in place to generate results greater than those an individual or a group of separate individuals can deliver.

So why are some teams more productive than others?

Two key ingredients are:

1. A focus on collective, specific objectives
2. Trust

With regard to the first ingredient, Patrick Lencioni writes in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “An unrelenting focus on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes is a requirement for any team that judges itself on performance.”
When setting the goals that support the team’s objectives, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistically High, and Time Bound. As much as possible (and appropriate), have the team publicly proclaim their goals and objectives and make them visible to the greater organization. By doing so, the team is putting themselves at stake with others and is creating an environment of accountability. Remember to post and review the team’s progress on a frequent basis in order that successes can be celebrated and timely changes can be made if necessary.

The second ingredient, trust, is the “grease” that enables the team to function effectively and efficiently. Trust, as defined here, is the confidence and belief each team member has in one another’s integrity and abilities. Trust in commitments made and commitments fulfilled – no matter what! Stephen M.R. Covey writes in The Speed of Trust, “Trust always affects two outcomes – speed and cost. When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up. Conversely, when trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down. It’s that simple, that real, that predictable.” A recent and vivid example for all of us is the impact of post 9/11 on air travel – enough said.

So, if you and your team need to call a “timeout” and head to the sidelines for some coaching, give us a call!