the art of teamwork

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Here Comes Santa Clause!

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post by Vanora Spreen, November 27th 2012

Well, it’s that time of year again!  The hustle and bustle of shopping, the seasonal movies, the parties and over-indulgence!  And my personal favourite – The Santa Claus Parade!

Every year the Rotary Club I belong to participates in our city’s annual Christmas Parade.  The parade takes about two hours to pass along our main street and is quite beautiful being a night time parade with each float being quite festively decked out with lighting.  It is quite a joy to see the floats and bands light up the children’s faces, all in anticipation of seeing the “jolly old elf” himself.

This year, our float consisted of a very confused Mickey and Minnie, on a boat, lost at sea near the North Pole!  We had penguins (not really a North Pole animal, as one very astute child pointed out to me!) and Christmas trees!  Our Christmas trees consisted of costumes worn by our Interact students and foreign exchange students, with a couple of volunteer family members to add to the fun!

What struck me was the amount of planning, purchasing and volunteer hours that went into the creation of the parade!  Our float alone brought together a number of professions to design and construct it!  Consider a lawyer, dentist, florist, image consultant, carpenter, interior décor specialist, real estate sales person, all coming together to build this one float alone!  I’m not sure how many entries were in the parade this year, let say there was 50 to be conservative.  Can you imagine the teamwork involved in creating a parade?

I don’t usually participate in the construction of the float.  Instead, on parade day, you will find me selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and hot chocolate at our Rotary booth!  We set up a couple of hours before the parade.  As families arrive to stake their place along the parade route, it is inevitable that someone will be hungry!  And yes, we do this snow, sleet, rain or shine!  (thank goodness for mittens!)

This year we were blessed with pleasant weather – no snow, but we didn’t freeze our fingers off either!

I am fortunate to be reminded on a regular basis of the value of good teamwork.  No competing or vying for position, no bickering or back-stabbing, just a great group of people all working towards a common goal.

BOTTOM LINE – even Service Clubs require teamwork!  At The Art of Teamwork, we specialize on building teams from the inside out!  Whether you are a well-established business with teams of employees or a service club that brings unlikely partners together, your human capital can be your biggest asset.  Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization!

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I see things!

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By Diane Koz, November 22, 2012 – The Art of Teamwork

Went to see the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, on Friday night.  It was great: full of intrigue, action, and tons of special effects.

So there I am watching this movie and I see teamwork.  Yes, that’s what I said, teamwork.  See what I do for a living is help businesses develop high functioning teams (HFT) and it’s become a sixth sense for me to see teamwork.  Remember that movie where the young actor Haley Joel sees dead people?  Well I see teamwork!

OK this may sound weird, but sometimes I drive myself crazy cause I see teamwork everywhere, everyday no matter where I go.  Yes, even on the big screen.   So there I am seeing teamwork and my husband is seeing the movie through a completely different lens.  That’s OK.  He’s used to it and I’m pleased for what these teamwork examples add to my repertoire of what I call Teaming Smart or Teaming Dumb, so I really do not mind, then again sometimes enough is enough.

James Bond may be the lead character but he is not a standalone spy.  Bond may be bigger than life on the screen but he is not so invincible without his team.  Even this fictional character is a member of a team.    There’s M, Q, Miss Moneypenny, his field agent. These characters are in each and every Bond movie.  Think back to Gold Finger, From Russia with Love, Casino Royale.  Bond cannot do it alone.  The author, Ian Fleming, had it right.  Bond needs to be part of a high functioning team to tackle the evil villain, to rescue the damsel, to accomplish the mission, to save the world, to make MI6 proud.  Each character has their own unique personality, their strengths and weaknesses, their talents and skills.  When combined, they complement each other, strengthening their ability to work the mission at hand. Bond needs to be a member of a strong team to confront his formidable enemies.

Imagine without Q, the tech guru, would Bond have the toys and weapons needed to go up against the bad guys?  Without M would Bond have a dangerous assignment?  Without Miss Moneypenny would Bond have the inside scoop on what is really going on?  Without the field agent would Bond have the support and local intelligence essential to the mission?  Without Bond would the mission even be plausible?

Where’s all of this leading?  What I’d like you to do is step back and take a look at your business team, your family team, your service club team, your church team.  Take a few minutes and check out the drama happening in these teams.  Do you have M, Q, Miss Moneypenny, Bond?  Are you a movie in the making like a Bond movie with an energized, highly effective and productive team on the road to accomplishing your mission?  Or, is your team a soap opera with divas, conflict, arguments, tension, too many leading men or women?  If it is, then rewrite that script.  High functioning teams are not difficult to achieve.  Remember I have a sixth sense and can help. Embrace teamwork, look for ways to develop it and move ahead, be a Bond movie in the making.

As Andrew Carnegie said “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.  The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

The BOTTOM LINE – Even an international super spy is part of a team. At The Art of Teamwork, we can help rewrite the screen play, direct and produce the movie for you.  We may not be Ian Fleming, but we do know how to Build Your Business From The Inside Out! Take advantage of teamwork and boost your competitive advantage! Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (T.E.O.)!

Visit our website www.theartofteamwork.com


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The Customer Bully

written by Diane Koz, November 9th, 2012

OMG – I ran into a bully that I did not expect – the customer !

There is a great deal of attention and focus on bullies in the workplace and rightly so. We hear and read about the boss, the supervisor, the colleague, the subordinate who may be a bully, but what we seldom hear about is the customer. Yes, the bully customer. Why don’t we talk about the customer as the bully? They can have exactly the same impact on the target and the workplace.

Recently I dealt with a customer who was definitely that, a bully! It happened over the phone. As the conversation progressed so did the bullying which escalated over the course of the conversation. I understood that the customer was frustrated with a particular situation and yes there was reason to be annoyed. This I could understand. What I could not understand was the intensity of the attack with their words, their behavior and their relentless need to be right. Given my respect for customer service, I basically took the bullying, did not counter in any way, and moved on after the call ended. Since then however, it has bothered me. It’s a tricky situation

As in any bullying situation there can be a triad – the bully, the target and often an observer. The same held true with the scenario I described above. I was the target, the customer was the bully and my colleague witnessed the effect the call had on me and could actually hear most of the words coming through loud and clear. After the call was over we talked about what just happened and decided to chalk it up as the customer was having a bad day. Why did we do that? You do not want to battle with a customer, you do not want to confront the customer for fear of losing them; you do not want to make a big deal about it for it just happened once, etc. etc. BUT, what if this is the typical behavior for this customer.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, “workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done”


What I described to you wasn’t repeated bullying towards me but it could be repeated bullying behavior that is directed towards many by this same individual.

So what should an employee do when the customer is the bully? I’m not sure. What do you think?

THE BOTTOM LINE – A workplace bully does not have to reside in your business environment. They can be your customers too. At The Art of Teamwork we focus our efforts on teaching businesses to build their business from the inside out. Human capital is their big asset so why not bring out the best in your team. We know that by taking advantage of teamwork businesses can boost their competitive advantage. Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (TEO)!


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Business Lessons from the Curling Rink!

Imageby Vanora Spreen November 9, 2012

Curling season is now upon us! I have played a few games and enjoyed my first bonspiel of the season and have the back to curling muscle aches to prove it! It occurred to me that people in business can learn much from watching a curling team play.

For those of you who are new to the sport, let me explain. A curling team, called a rink has four players. The positions are in order of throw, Lead, Second, Vice and Skip. The Skip calls the shots and each member takes a turn throwing two rocks while the remaining two members “sweep” the ice in front of the rock to either hold direction or control or maintain speed.

The Vice holds an interesting position, holding the broom and directing the play when it is the Skip’s turn to throw. You are probably asking what this has to do with business? First there is a strategy that the Skip follows for each shot. This is similar to a business plan or even a strategic plan if you have ever been involved with creating one for your business (time well spent I might add!). The Skip begins each end with a call to throw the rock in a specific position, depending upon the score and time in the game.
You see there are variables, just like in business! From time to time, the Skip has to compensate for a bad call or missed throw. In business we are constantly adjusting to the demands of the marketplace and if you miss the boat on this, you could find yourself in financial hot water.

On occasion, the Skip, can’t see what the shot looks like from the other end. In this case, he or she relies on the information from the team. This happens in business all the time. The leader has a strategic plan, calling the shots but relying on input from the management team, sales people, production people and office staff, just to name a few. Sometimes the leader has to revise his plan, but not lose sight of the goal.
It is apparent that while the Skip still calls the shots, the other team members have valuable input. We can’t forget that the front line in business, our receptionists or sales people for example, have insights about company staff, clients, suppliers that leaders may not see! Feedback from the field is essential for making great business decisions or great curling calls!

In the middle of a game the ice conditions may change, speeding up, “fast” or slowing down, “heavy”. This is similar to an economic barometer. Interest rates, exchange rates, supply shortages, supply overages, political influences, just to name a few are constantly affecting our business decisions.

As for the team players, their roles can change as well. Sometimes you have to take the lead position. In business, I equate this with getting started – taking the first step in the direction of the goal set. In curling, when it is someone else’s turn to take the make the throw, you become a supporting person, giving feedback to the Skip regarding the speed of the rock and the direction of the spin. Without this information the Skip can make an error in judgement (even with this information it is easy to make an error!) Again the Skip might have to adjust the strategy, just like a business owner might have to adjust the action plan.
When it is time for the Skip to throw, the Vice steps in to guide the shot and call the sweepers. In business there are times when the business leader needs to take a step aside and listen to the advice of trusted advisers, department managers, or team leaders. It is important to recognize that just like the business leader, the Skip is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the decisions made during the game!

I love watching curling on television. You can see the interaction of the team members, something that is difficult to witness when you are in the middle of playing the game. Communication is key to calling a good shot. Delivering the shot (throwing the rock) as it is called is secondary to strategy. (In business we know that making sales calls is as important as the outcome of the call.) Once the shot is made, the sweepers keep the shot in line, just like the supporting cast in an organization.

Whether on the curling rink or in business, the key is to have a functional team. One where decisions are made responsibly, with the best interest of the organization and it’s people in mind.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Build your business from the inside out! Take advantage of teamwork and boost your competitive advantage! Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (T.E.O.)!


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Warning – Do you have a successful dysfunctional team? This can be very dangerous.

By DIANE KOZ on JULY 5, 2012 – THE ART OF TEAMWORK.
I’m certain you have read this before.  This is a story about four people:  Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

  • There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
  • Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it.
  • Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.
  • Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
  • It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.Does this sound familiar? Does this describe a team that you might know or a group of individuals that you work with, that call themselves a team? Do you think this sort of team accomplishes any significant results or makes a difference for their business and their customers?

    Everywhere I go I observe the interaction of team members or should I say, groups of employees. In restaurants, retail stores, hotels etc. and there are only a handful that stand out as high performing teams. That`s a shame, because it really is such an effortless fix to transform a team.

    Unfortunately, dysfunctional teams are quite normal. Even worse there are many dysfunctional teams that are successful. To a degree. What do I mean by that? Members act successful, they talk as if they are successful, and spin their results as a success. They are good at working together but the team is really unhealthy, lacking in collaboration, commitment, cohesion. Yes there may be results to goals and objectives, but how sustainable are these results. Image is everything and can cloud reality. Concentrating on the impression that the team is successful, saving face and posturing become the norm and no one knows differently. Imagine what the results would be if the team were turned around into a functional team. Modest success could be outstanding success. A success façade is dangerous and sadly more widespread. Teams like this can routinely be given key projects with similar results.

    A dysfunctional team that portrays success can hold a business back from reaching its goals and full potential in the marketplace. Teams exist to create results and impact your relationship with your customer. Teams are and should be a business’ number 1 asset. Any dysfunctional team needs to be fixed and fast. It’s not difficult. It takes buy in, commitment and agreement to a mindset shift.

    If you have worked on a dysfunctional team, or observed one, then you have most likely seen one or more of these common characteristics.

     

  • Conflict is avoided
  • Arguments are the norm
  • Turf wars – who has the strongest skills for a role
  • Problems are not managed or resolved
  • Real issues are not addressed
  • Limited productive communications
  • Lots of gossip and idle chatter
  • Leadership challenges
  • Points of view and opinion are not listened to
  • Competitive behaviours and attitudes – everybody wants air time
  • Pass the buck syndrome – no one takes responsibility – blame laid at the feet of the leader
  • Not me attitude – who takes accountability
  • The word change is frightening and no one wants to admit that are fearful of change
  • Artificial honesty,  trust, harmony
  • Recognition is non-existent or may be directed to the leader only.
  • Decision making is leader lead and not participatory – decisions are not clear or understood or worse is no decisions are being made
  • Clarity concerns
  • Lack of a clear goal or vision for the team – or they may be competing
  • Roles – overlapping and not defined
  • Common goals – what common goals?
  • Silent members
  • Individual contributions not valued or recognize

And the list goes on and on.

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare” a quote from Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. Lencioni’s writing confirmed some of my own personal experiences and observations as a team member and leader. Often unremarkable business results can be attributed to product, services, processes, systems, tools, personnel etc. In Lencioni’s model, a set of underlying problems can influence the lack of results. Lencioni illustrates this model. At the bottom, a lack of trust causes a fear of conflict, which causes a lack of commitment, which causes a lack of accountability, which then causes a lack of results. A failure to deliver results is an outcome starting from an unstable foundation created by a lack of trust. Not a healthy team.

We need to ask ourselves, is my team functional or dysfunctional and maybe more importantly, is my dysfunctional team portraying a false success or artificial functionality.

As a seasoned team member, team leader and coach, I fully believe that if you are aware of any of the characteristics listed above you owe it to yourself and your business to investigate the underlying problems. Address them as soon as you can to transform your team and your results. We can be ostriches when it comes to teams, and that only perpetuates the lack of results. There are assessments that can easily be delivered that will help determine what type of team you work in or lead. A good starting point is to determine where the team is in the stages of a team’s development. Whether the team has been together for years or brand new this assessment sheds light on underlying issues and possible reasons for dysfunction. Is the team forming, storming, norming or performing? Is the team fluctuating back and forth between these? Knowing this status will provide greater insight into a team’s functionality. Additional assessments can reveal the personality characteristics/traits of the team and individual team members. Again, more information to determine functionality. Another assessment focusing on productivity and positivity adds to a better understanding of the character of the team. Here is the starting point to Team Energy Optimization, better known as TEO, our specialty.

I’ve worked on a team that in reality was dysfunctional and you would never know it as an observer. We were fraught with problems and issues that we simply hid because we were obsessed with success and recognition rather than moving the project or business first. Remember a team is a group of individuals, with a full set of complementary skills and knowledge with the aim of reaching defined goals. It’s important to understand, recognize and acknowledge what those defined goals are, at an individual team member level and the team as a whole. If there are personal gain goals hidden within, find them, deal with them and work with the individuals and the team to help them understand that they can achieve much more recognition and accolades from real sustainable success that moves a business forward. I would rather be known for that than a “sugar coated” success that has no long term impact. Short lived gain can create long term pain for a business. Ouch!

The BOTTOM LINE – Determine what sort of team you have and fix it, even if it is a functional team, make it better. Take advantage of teamwork and boost your competitive advantage. Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (TEO)!

 

 


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The Right Attitude, Your Secret Weapon for Team Performance

by Vanora Spreen, July 29, 2012

We have been told since we were kids about the importance of attitude. And now that we’re all grown up, the concept of attitude has been replaced with having a proper mindset! I want to make one thing clear, attitude is mindset and mindset is attitude. It can have a negative influence on the team you have today, the team you are redesigning today or the team you are builiding today. But what is attitude and how does it influence a team?

Attitude can best be defined as the composite of our thoughts, feelings and actions. As someone who has been on many different teams, ranging from sports to leadership, I can tell you from personal experience that it only takes one bad attitude to affect the rest of the team, not only from a performance point of view, but also emotionally, intellectually, even physically and spiritually. It only takes one ‘Negative Nellie’ to bring spirits down. The saying “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” comes to mind.

My experience working on teams has proven to me the importance of “getting the right people on the bus” as Jim Collins writes in his book, From Good to Great. The real problem of having a bad attitude is that it becomes a habit, one that is hard to break and one that can only be tackled by the person with the bad attitude! It really doesn’t matter how many times a leader speaks with or disciplines the individual, unless the culprit wants to make changes – change his/her mindset, and is committed to developing a positive attitude, change is impossible. Remember it takes thirty days to create a new habit. That is thirty days of continual attention being paid to the new desired habit. If one isn’t committed to the new idea, and doesn’t really believe that there is a need to change, or is in the habit of blaming others for poor outcomes, it will be impossible to see any lasting positive change.

Let’s think about how a team works. We all agree that there must be a leader, someone who makes decisions, someone to get things started, someone to do the work and someone to make sure that things get completed. Of course, this is simplified and in any given situation, the roles of the team ‘players’ may change, and in fact, any one player may have more than one role. When one team member takes on a negative position – it can spread like a cancerous tumour to the other members, introducing discontent, discouragement, unwarranted competitiveness, a lack of commitment to the goals of the organization, ending with poor results.

Now, take a look at your team. If you are the team leader, it is especially important to examine your own mindset. Often we don’t recognize our own contribution as having a negative effect. As leaders, do we encourage open communication between the team members? Do we allow for the individuals to express their ideas, concerns and encouragements in project development? Do we hear new ideas in an environment that is non-confrontational and non-threatening? Are we allowing each team member the opportunity to have input? Or are we relying on “higher-ups” to dictate the actions of the team? These are just a few of the questions that need to be addressed when examining our leadership abilities and habits. Yes, I said habits! We are all creatures of habits and the workplace is full of them. It doesn’t matter if you are working in an office or on a production line, habits are present. Some habits are required for daily functioning of the company, like opening the mail or inspecting machinery. Some habits are not only not necessary but they are detrimental to a functional team and working together as one.

There is a fine line that requires respect when dealing with members of a team. In order to empower your team, each member needs to be recognized as an individual and at the same time as a member of the team. This means allowing individual expression, and respecting the idea that is put forward. I’m not talking about winning a popularity contest by allowing team members to dictate the operations of the organization, rather allowing them to make positive contributions at appropriate times.

As team members, we are also required to respect our leader and take on a leadership position whenever it is required. Leadership doesn’t always come with a title! True acts of leadership involve daily encouragement, and setting behavioural and attitudinal examples. We can all be leaders in this sense. We need to monitor our own behaviour and ask ourselves if we have been adding to, or subtracting from, the productivity of the team.

How does a team develop a positive mindset? How does a team overcome a negative culture? These questions are not as easy to answer as you might think and require a detailed assessment of the team. To get started though, I believe there are three concepts mandatory for the development of great team habits and attitudes. The first one being clarity.

Teams need to have a clear idea about the where the organization is headed and why! It is important for the organization to know what it values. It is so much easier when team members have a common goal and know what is expected of each member. What is critical here is for each member to understand their role, and their contribution to the operation of the team as a whole. This has to start from the top! The ‘powers that be’ have to have a clear sense of what and where the organization is going. If this is missing, you are steering a ship without a rudder! I won’t belabour the need for written, clearly defined goals here, suffice it to say clarity is the first step necessary in developing a team mindset.

The next obvious step is communicating the purpose, vision and goals of the organization to its team members. This step is sometimes overlooked or passed by as being unnecessary, after all most employees know what their company produces…. or do they? In some situations, the team is so far removed from the actual product or service that they just don’t get how they fit in, or why their role is important. In fact, I’ve seen some team leaders who are unclear on exactly that. My advice is to take the time to develop a communication practice that keeps everyone informed and involved. There are many ways to keep the corporate goals first and foremost in an employees mind, get creative! Ask your team how they want to be communicated with. Never forget that communication is a two-way street. Take the time to make your team feel important and involved with the productivity and profitability of the company.

The third and most indicative step is commitment. This is where the rubber hits the road! In a sense this is how and where you pick your team, and your team picks you. What I’m talking about is gaining ‘buy-in’ for the goals and objectives of the organization, and a commitment from the team members in their pursuit. This step is necessary in identifying the ‘right people on the bus’. In some cases, de-selection is necessary.

When it comes to commitment, respect is a required attitude. Even the best employee may decide that their personal goals and ideals are at odds with the goals and ideals of the organization. This only leads to inner conflict and poor performance and in extreme cases sabotage. If a team member indicates that this is the case, it is better to part ways early so that all concerned can move forward and foster good will. Still at other times, the commitment is there, although it may be weak and based on fear rather than being in alignment with the purpose and vision of the organization. Whatever the case may be, if you need to change members, decide and act quickly, in fairness to all concerned.

THE BOTTOM LINE – Once clarity, communication and commitment are gained you have the basis for creating a team culture of success, encouraging good habits and a disciplined approach to your team. Take advantage of teamwork and boost your competitive advantage. Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (TEO)!


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How Teamwork Can Influence Your Competitive Advantage

By DIANE KOZ on JUNE 30, 2012

I’m Diane Koz and I take teamwork very seriously. Not team building, but teamwork. I think back on my adventures with teams and teamwork and in some cases wonder how I survived some of the projects I was associated with. The teams were quite dysfunctional. Did we produce significant results? In most cases I would have to say no. We produced mediocre results, just enough to get by, to say we completed the project so we could move on to the next project. We cared about teamwork but were more concerned about our individual careers, how to get ahead, and no matter at what expense. As long as on the surface it looked like we were a successful team was all that mattered. Deep inside that team we were not functioning well. Successful Dysfunctional Teams are fairly easy to recognize and most often commonly accepted because they produce results, and are successful at a superficial level. It wasn’t until I experienced a truly functional team that I realized how relatively effortless it was to set the course to a functional team and the success it would produce for the individual, the team, the business and for our customer. When I think back the results we produced for the customer, they were outstanding, whether a new product, a promotional program, a new system or process.

We had no one to guide us or help us. There was no teamwork guru to call in to help fix the team. What we did was learn by trial and error. That’s what worked for me and this learning is what is translated into the programs that I developed and currently work with. I know they work, because I’ve lived them. I know these will have an effect on your competitive advantage.

Take a couple of seconds, step back and ask yourself a few questions about your team:

  • How’s my team performing?
  • Am I a member of a team?
  • Does my team help my business or hurt my business?
  • Why should I even worry if my team is performing or not?
  • Why should I bother spending money, time and resources on teamwork?
  • Do my employees feel like they belong to a team or do they even care?

These are questions that we ask businesses owners to think about. Why? Because the answers can and will affect your competitive advantage. Obviously, businesses want effective teams, and most believe that their teams function well, so there is no need to dedicate time, resources or effort into evaluating their team and making changes. Why bother? Most believe that the group of individuals that work in their organization are working together as a team. Yes, they do have a group of individual but they are not necessarily functioning as a team. What they are doing is functioning as a group of individuals, that’s it. Is this hurting the business or helping the business? Is this a functional team or dysfunctional team?

The individual team member is key to a dynamic high performing team. What does the individual bring to the team? They bring experiences, behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, values, assumptions, their personality, knowledge and skills to name a few. What a team has to do is capture, capitalize and utilize the best of these attributes from each team member, meld them together such that each team member is contributing to the whole. Where they are lacking, build these, especially in the area of skills.

If your team is just not in sync, there is no life to their efforts or they are unsure of their goals, then you most likely have a dysfunctional team, one that isn’t moving the organization forward. A dysfunctional team could be lacking in a competent leader, focus, trust, accountability, commitment, role clarity, and effective communications. There are varying degrees of team functionality. Even if your team is functioning well, it too can be moved to a higher level of performance. Regardless of the state of your team’s performance level, an individual and a team’s mindset can be changed. In most cases it’s a matter of awareness and a desire to make a change for the betterment of the whole. Being aware of your individual and team strengths and weaknesses, patterns of behaviours and attitudes can ignite a pattern of transformation that can produce sustainable results and the effect that your team has on your bottom line. Another key ingredient to a functional team is relationships: strong, healthy, productive relationships. The stronger the relationships within your team, the stronger the relationship with your customer. A powerful team will not only perform, it will exceed norms and outperform. This calibre of team will impact your bottom line and create a much sought after competitive advantage that every company wants in today’s business environment.

So what does a functional team look like? First of all let’s define what a team is. There are many definitions of a team. The one that we align with is, a team is a group of individuals, with a full set of complementary skills and knowledge with the aim of reaching defined goals. The moment you start doing anything at all with another person, you’ve established a team. A functional team is composed of members who communicate, collaborate, cooperate and celebrate. Team members are committed, caring and confident. There is clarity to the team’s purpose and culture of success and achievement is prevalent. This is a team that is “teaming smart”. On the other hand a dysfunctional team is just the opposite and “teaming dumb”. Transforming a team is not difficult, it’s logical and practical, it’s achievable, it really is effortless and it makes sense. It take commitment and So let’s examine the questions again. How would you now answer the questions? Would a transformational blueprint help out? A blueprint that clearly assesses the status quo performance and character of your team and develops a going forward strategy and action plan to change the path of the team and the outcomes for the company. Why not? Why not determine the degree of functionality of your team or teams. You may find out more than you anticipated.

The BOTTOM LINE – Assess where you are as a team. Take advantage of teamwork and boost your competitive advantage. Team Smart through Team Energy Optimization (TEO)!