How To Develop Winning Teams in Business

How To Develop Winning Teams in Business is essential for Business Growth and Profitability.

This article by Russ Sabia talks about typical things that undermine teamwork in business and what to do about them:

Five Things You Did This Week That Undermined Teamwork

In my work consulting to leadership teams around organizational health, I find most teams are comprised of well-intentioned people trying to do the right thing for their team. Despite those good intentions, however, teamwork is often undermined when members inadvertently act in ways that are not in the best interest of the team. Each of the behaviors below is a subtle (or not so subtle) manifestation of one or more of Pat Lencioni’s five dysfunctions of a team.

Here are five things you might have done this week that erode the cohesiveness of your team:

  1. Nodded politely through meetings, not voicing your concerns. We call this artificial harmony. This behavior is so prevalent within some companies that they have coined it. For instance, GM employees call it “the GM nod.” Artificial harmony stems from a fear of conflict and inevitably results in important issues not getting raised and less than optimal decisions being made.Often, the fear of conflict manifests itself as unproductive politics after the meeting when team members go to their boss behind closed doors and lobby for their point of view, or they don’t support team decisions outside the room.

    Next week, try this: Add the value that your place at the table demands. Share what concerns you may have, explain why you support another’s ideas, or play devil’s advocate when there are no opposing views being expressed.

  2. Avoided an opportunity to give feedback to a team member. Providing constructive feedback is one of the hardest things for team members to do with each other —- but it is precisely what high performing teams demand. Highly accountable teams are so committed to their collective goals and approach that they are willing to remind each other when they are not living up to those commitments or when someone’s actions are hurting the team.One of my manufacturing clients decided to do something about their leadership team’s reluctance to give peer-to-peer feedback. They each committed to have lunch with one person on the team they needed to resolve an issue with, and one person from whom they were most afraid of hearing feedback. To hold themselves accountable, they shared the outcomes of those meetings with their other teammates at their subsequent staff meeting.

    Next week, try this: Invite a team member for coffee to provide feedback with a spirit of goodwill and support.

  3. Allowed another team member to shut down someone with a different point of view. Teams thrive when diverse ideas and perspectives are debated on their merits. Shutting down other perspectives, especially when the majority of the team might be advocating one point of view, weakens the team and diminishes its collective intelligence. As one of my clients put it, highly constructive conflict within teams is when people are “arguing as if they are right, but listening as if they are wrong.”The leadership team of an engineering company I worked with included several trained engineers, wired to find the flaws in ideas. One member of the team was an out of the box thinker who constantly felt shut down and marginalized by the team because they would immediately pounce on everything that was wrong with his ideas, rather than build on what possibilities might be there. During an offsite, the team talked about this dynamic for the first time. To minimize it in the future, they established a ground rule to “articulate what we like about an idea before expressing concerns.” This led to much more robust debates and people with differing perspectives feeling more valued.

    Next week, try this: Make an effort to fully explore different perspectives or encourage the team to wrestle with a point of view that makes them uncomfortable.

  4. Used the back door. Rather than talking directly with a person with whom you had an issue, perhaps you went to your boss or another member of the team to complain. This is a nasty form of politics —- called triangulation —- that erodes trust and peer-to-peer accountability within the team.To discourage this behavior, a financial services team I worked with recently set a ground rule of “Mama don’t like sneaky.” This became a humorous way to remind each other to address issues directly with one another.

    Next week, try this: Approach the person you have an issue with directly. If others come to you complaining about someone else on the team, nip it in the bud by encouraging them to talk directly with the person.

  5. Made assumptions about another team member’s motives. We all fall prey to this one, and social psychologists have given it a fancy name: the fundamental attribution error. It is when we attribute other people’s negative behavior to a personality flaw. But when we do the same or exhibit similar behaviors, we tend to attribute our own actions to external circumstances. The “error” is that our assumptions can often be wrong, and this can lead us down some very unproductive paths with teammates.The antidote? First, work to build trust with team members so that it is easier to assume good intentions. Before attributing motives to another’s behavior, ask yourself, “what am I not seeing from my line of sight?” Or “why might a reasonable person do this?”

    Two members of a team I worked with had a misunderstanding years ago that caused distrust and discord between them. It affected how they communicated and collaborated and negatively impacted the entire team. At one of our recent team offsites, they finally talked about the issue and realized they had made false assumptions about each other that had led them both to work against each other.

    Next week, try something one of my clients practice: before taking action, think of “three generous interpretations” when you find yourself making negative attributions about someone’s behavior.

Like a river, teams can meander off course when team members take the path of least resistance. Building team cohesiveness requires purposeful and intentional efforts on the part of every team member, and seemingly benign behavior can sometimes be very detrimental and erode trust.

What have you done this week that might have undermined your team’s effectiveness?

THE NEXT STEP IS TAKING ACTION!

We should talk.
Our conversation will be about the specific challenges you want to resolve now:

Is it about your people?
Is your strategy not as clear as it should be?
Is the execution not at the level of quality or consistency your client’s expect?
Is your sales force not producing the results that you require?
We’ll tailor a program that will include, strategic planning, executive coaching, workshops, assessments or training that will introduce you and your leadership team to a suite of Best Practices culled from today’s thought leaders.  These have been proven effective in thousands of fast paced, growth companies around the world.

 

Call Today: 616-822-6469 Email: craig@strategicsolutionsenterprise.com

Effective Strategic Planning For Business Growth

Effective Strategic Planning For Business Growth

We work with clients by bringing clarity to the four key decisions all companies must get right to drive sustainable revenue and profitability.The four key decisions are PEOPLE, STRATEGY, EXECUTION, CASH. We help leadership teams to focus ON THE BUSINESS to dominate their market niches.

We first begin this process by listening, observing, and assessing the current culture, strategy and disciplines within your company. We then act as the catalyst to bring ACTION to your leadership team together by using simple tools and carefully thought out questions that allow your leadership team to challenge the status quo and focus ON THE BUSINESS. We are the change agents; that bring out the critical thinking skills that allow your company to achieve accelerated growth rates and profits compared to their peers.

We do not bring burdensome processes that add complexity to your company. Our program is supported by proven simple tools developed by VERN HARNISH from THE GAZELLE INSTITUTE that have been used by thousands of companies to scale up their companies for sustainable revenue and profit growth. We bring clarity to the daily, weekly, monthly priorities to insure the right focus is being given to the four key decisions all companies must get right,PEOPLE, STRATEGY, EXECUTION, and CASH.  We help companies enjoy the climb on scaling their business for sustainable revenue and profitability.

We have a unique pricing structure that guarantees that we bring value to your company

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and provide a free assessment on how we could work together to DRIVE SUSTAINABLE REVENUE AND IMPROVE PROFITS.

THE NEXT STEP IS TAKING ACTION!

We should talk.
Our conversation will be about the specific challenges you want to resolve now:

Is it about your people?
Is your strategy not as clear as it should be?
Is the execution not at the level of quality or consistency your client’s expect?
Is your sales force not producing the results that you require?
We’ll tailor a program that will include, strategic planning, executive coaching, workshops, assessments or training that will introduce you and your leadership team to a suite of Best Practices culled from today’s thought leaders.  These have been proven effective in thousands of fast paced, growth companies around the world.

 

Call Today: 616-822-6469 Email: craig@strategicsolutionsenterprise.com

Companies That Embrace Innovation Will Succeed

execution

The Lean Learning Center reviews organizations that have embraced change and stood the test of time.

In our article about the importance of innovation and creativity to an organization’s success, we discussed the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company: The average lifespan has declined from 61 years in 1955 to 18 years in 2014. However, not all company lifespans are getting smaller… Some companies are displaying remarkable staying power, celebrating over 100 years in existence.

Companies over 100 years old:

1802 DuPont and Company
1806 Colgate-Palmolive Company
1837 Procter & Gamble
1866 Sherwin-Williams
1872 Kimberly-Clark Corp.
1876 Eli Lilly and Company
1883 PPG Industries
1886 Johnson & Johnson
1888 Libbey Inc.
1888 Hubbell Inc.
1894 The Hershey Company
1896 Tootsie Roll Industries
1898 Goodyear Tire & Rubber
1899 Timken Company
1902 3M Company
1903 Harley-Davidson Motor Company
1903 Ford Motor Company
1903 Anderson Corporation
1905 Ingersoll RAND Company
1906 Xerox
1911 IBM Corporation
1911 Whirlpool Corporation
1913 Clorox Company
Why, then, do some companies grow while others cease to exist? Are there characteristics in common among organizations that last? We would like to suggest that the answer is YES. Companies that stand the test of time are able to do so because they change with the times. When it comes to modernization, it’s either adapt or say goodbye!

“Having a product or service that continues to adapt to the needs of customers is paramount to making a company successful in the long term,” says Michael Zinsser, a partner in the Boston consulting group.

A key part of fostering innovation within an organization is the ability to engage and empower the workforce. When employees feel good about the work they do they believe that the firm is investing in them, as well as providing opportunities to contribute to the organization success. We find those companies that are able to create that loyalty and engagement are able to withstand a lot of external shocks and work together to keep the business going.

The Lean Learning Center is proud to note that at least eight of the companies over 100 years old are also our clients. We can help any organization foster innovation and creativity. Contact us for more information about how fostering innovation could change the future of your company.

Lean Learning Center – Troy, Michigan

The Lean Learning Center was founded in 2001 to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful and sustainable lean transformation. In addition to the advanced curriculum, the Center has developed a learning environment designed specifically for adult learning utilizing techniques that include discovery simulations, case studies, personal planning, and reflection – ultimately engaging people at a deep and personal level. We bring our unique lean understanding in creative ways to executives, managers, supervisors, change agents and front-line employees.