Does Your Firm Excel As A Team?
Trying to pick a restaurant for an important event a friend shared an interesting insight; the local area had a 5 star rating system. If you had to choose would you select a one or two star?
One of my friends has been awarded a large project with a very large multinational firm. His team will be working on one functional area. They will be evaluating all the staff and picking Champs and Chumps.
It’s not a unique story, in “Moneyball”, Billy Beane says, “We’ll find value in players that nobody else can see … like an Island of Misfit Toys.” In a recent blog Jeff Haden wrote, in building a team, “Your goal isn’t to ensure every employee is great; it’s to ensure that collectively they’ll be great.”
My friends five star analysis will eliminate the one and two players and focus on making the three’s-better. A Peter Drucker quote that might be helpful is:
“Employment is a specific contract calling for a specific performance; the task is not to change personality, but to enable a person to achieve and to perform.”
— Peter Drucker, 1974
The task is to enable a person to achieve and for the team to succeed. The goal isn’t to ensure every employee is great; it’s to ensure that collectively they are a team. Teamwork is an American tradition; the first thing John Wayne did was form a posse. Team work is about respect, “I don’t care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe just maybe….”
Good teams, not great teams require at least three things:
Common purpose — a shared understanding of the business, of the value we pledge to create and what the customers want, business values, philosophy that guides who we are and how these tools enable success.
Common knowledge — a solid level of individual job knowledge, and a collective understanding of the firm. Each person needs to understand how their part contributes to the overall process and is a key in the value proposition.
Common sense — the practical approach to get things done; the responsibility to insure problems are solved and overcome-changes.
The two final keys for good teams are learning and commitment.
Members want to grow. They like to solve problems, not just send an email. Members understand that a secured future is earned collectively with commitment.
My friend tells me these five traits are absent in 1 and 2 star players.
Every firm wants Champs!