Situation: A company has lost the team spirit that they had when the company formed. The CEO has struggled to revitalize this spirit but encounters resistance from some employees. What techniques have you found effective in building or rebuilding a strong team culture and improving team performance?
Advice from the CEOs:
- If an individual is resistant to team meetings, work with them one-on-one. Listen to their concerns about meetings and ask questions to focus them on a higher level of concern – individual and team performance and the need to build effective teams to enhance this performance.
- If an organization has divided into functional silos, form multidisciplinary teams around initiatives to build inter-team synergy.
- Choice of leader is critical in team formation. The best teams have the most effective leaders.
- Crisp, clean communication is important. Document verbal commitments in writing.
- Select team membership with an eye to team compatibility. Avoid putting individuals with a history of conflict on the same team, particularly if this is a management team.
- Engineering product teams – where individuals work independently on distinct aspects of a larger project – may be more tolerant of past conflict as long as team activities do not require collaboration among individuals with a history of conflict.
- Look for common value systems and common focus when assembling teams. This helps to build the team as a strong unit.
- Recommended Reading: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni.