What are Best Practices for Bringing Teams Together? Seven Suggestions

Interview with Jennifer Choate, President, Green Country Integrated Resources, Inc.

Situation: There are many opportunities to team with other companies, whether through partnerships, joint ventures or M&A. This is accompanied by the challenge bringing together different teams to succeed in new roles and tasks. What are best practices for bringing teams together?

Advice:

  • People are an investment. Just like the stock market is not up every day, neither will be the performance of your people. Bringing people into new relationships, roles and responsibilities takes patience, work and nurturing to build skills and to get the best out of people.
  • Build the organizational chart of the new organization that you will build. Fill in all spaces with the individual who currently holds responsibility for each role. This means that some people will have several different roles. This is OK. As you add additional people, they will fill many of these roles.
  • Build a set of company or project values to guide individuals through the trade-off decisions that will drive future growth. Involve the full team in this exercise so that ownership of the resultant values is broad.
  • Develop and express in a consistent way the boundaries of the company or project. If Enron had had as one of its boundaries “we don’t embezzle” a crisis would have been averted.
  • Focus on systems and processes, not just on tasks. The core of any organization is people and relationships. These are best expressed through systems and processes, not tasks. Tasks express discrete roles, even if these may be sophisticated, but don’t encompass the richness or complexity of systems, processes or the people involved.
  • When dealing with people always ask “What is my role?” and “What is their role?” In each situation, work to understand the other’s perspective and what opportunity or concern they are bringing to the table. Trying to make someone into someone that they are not doesn’t work.
  • Particularly in a company or venture that focuses on high levels of customer service, act urgently, but avoid emergencies. You want your response to customer needs to be swift, but do not want to destroy operational rhythm.

You can contact Jennifer Choate at jennifer.choate@greencir.com

Key Words: Role, Partnership, Joint Venture, M&A, Organizational Chart, Values, Systems, Processes, Customer Service 

2 thoughts on “What are Best Practices for Bringing Teams Together? Seven Suggestions

  1. Charlie Bishop

    An overview: (have detais and willing to discuss)
    Agree on a written scorecard—articulate clear and realistic goals
    Negotiate realistic timeframes—identify acceptable timeframes for new executives to take on full responsibility or to complete certain projects–deliverables in 90 days/6 months, etc.
    Provide quick access to information to jump start the assimilation process—provide new executives with information regarding company’s product lines, operating plans, business drivers, profiles of subordinates, and a roadmap to organization structures and key positions
    Build networking contacts—introduce new executives to key individuals and have the new executive attend corporate sessions where there is a strategic bent;
    Provide a guide to company culture—explain informal organizational practices and cultural rules–expectations as a leader and what can get you in trouble here;
    State development on day one—develop and assimilate new executive immediately after acceptance of offer
    Do not wait to give feedback—provide feedback on executive’s personal development goals, progress against written scorecard, and progress on the cultural front;
    Take an early test–ask peers and boss–do not accept generalities–expect them to knowl;
    Make someone responsible and ccountable for the individual’s success
    Quick assessment after 100 days–on my Dashboard there is a mandatory assessment that (for VP’s and above) is directly submitted to the CHRO and CEO. Do something like this–do not accept generalities–too much is at stake!

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