Building anything takes time and involves effort, resources, and yes, maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears. Producing high performance teams is no different. That’s why we call it Building High Performance Teams. Many professionals may think that building high performance teams begins with the hiring process; and yes, that is part of the process. However, laying the foundation begins long before that with your strategic planning process with the cornerstone being your vision, mission, and business philosophy.
Once those components are in place, then you can begin writing position descriptions for the tasks to help the job talk as to what it needs to function at an optimal level. Seeking the talent for those positions involves looking for a match in KSAs (knowledge, skills, and attributes). Remember that when you find the person with the right attitude and is a match for your vision, mission, and business philosophy, you can always train for skills. But that’s just the beginning.
More and more organizations are relying on teams to get work completed and completed more quickly. The reliance on teams means that organizations are becoming less hierarchical and that management is moving further and further away from the old control and command management style, even in the C-Suite. Further, managers are developing more of a matrix set of skills. All of this means that organizations are becoming more agile.
Agility brings about more change and brings it more often. A more agile operation forces teams to throw out staid project management ideas. The team concentrates on the few items or tasks that are less likely to change by the time the team can work on them. This in turn, helps team members embrace change. One source suggests, “people should be happy to learn things that alter their direction, even late in the development process.” On the other hand, creating agile teams does involve some planning.
Simply put, high performing teams (HPTs), need members who are high performers. While this may appear to be a blinding flash of the obvious, what may not be so obvious is ensuring that your hiring system has the components it takes to attract high performers. High performers are not just going to come beat your door down. The truth is that high performers are not that easy to find and finding them will become even more difficult because the United States population growth is dropping. The fewer people, the fewer high performers. What can your organization do to help attract the best of the best out of a dwindling supply?
Building high performance teams isn’t rocket science, but high-performance teams don’t just appear out of nowhere, nor are they built overnight. Any type of team building requires effort but building high performance teams takes even more effort, dedication, and commitment. No, it’s not rocket science, it’s more of a combination of art and science. Just how does the blending of these two working together result in building high performing teams?
Your favorite sports team takes the field, court, or ice. Team members are dressed in their respective team uniforms and colors, coaches are on the sidelines, referees are watching every move, the crowd supports their favorite, the sports casters call and analyze every play, and there are great rewards awaiting the winning team. What more could a team want? The better question is, does YOUR have all this?
When researching literature about strategic thinking, every author has his/her own definition for what constitutes strategic thinking. Indeed according to a report by the United States Army Research institute for the Behavior Sciences, the definition for strategic thinking has been changing through the decades to fit trends in business and management strategies. Modern literature offers a veritable smorgasbord of definitions. So how do people know if they are engaging in strategic thinking or not?