3 Ways to Derail Team Formation: Part 1

Below is an excerpt from our latest article 3 Ways to Derail Team Formation.

Most teams struggle to reach their highest levels of effectiveness because of their inability to cultivate the right team of people from the beginning. As a result, communication breakdowns, unnecessary conflict, and poor decision making leads to a loss of key opportunities.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Over the past 20 years working with management teams, functional teams, and emerging leaders, I’ve noticed three common mistakes that derail the formation of an effective team. Overcoming these costly mistakes will enable you to cultivate a team of committed people instead of a disgruntled majority.

Mistake 1: Ambiguity of team purpose and vision for the future

It’s hard to create an effective team when the purpose of the team is not clear and its vision for the future is vague. You’ll know your team lacks clarity if its
priorities are constantly changing and your meetings are focused primarily on the “round robin,” where each person updates everyone else on things that no one cares about.

Neither result in an effective use of team time.

The first step in cultivating a high-performing team is to clearly define the team’s purpose. The team’s purpose should answer these questions:

  1. What should this team do that no other team does?
  2. Where is the team going? What is our preferred vision for the future?
  3. How is the team going to get there? (Peel back the onion on this one and you’ll notice that this question is answered with the key values that enable the team to be most effective.)

Having clarity of purpose will help your team move beyond information sharing to actually solving problems and making decisions.

How is your team doing?

  • Is your purpose clear?
  • Is your vision for the future compelling?
  • What values will guide you?

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

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