The goal of teamwork is excellence, and the aim of the leader is to maximize the performance capacity of the team to excel at mission, vision, and goals. Extraordinary “success” correlates with the capacity of the team to produce and execute insights at will. The fundamentals for Getting To Insight are listed here. Excellent communications are a given. The following are five elements that must be operational for insightful teamwork to emerge. All of these elements are important to attaining this high level of team effectiveness.
1) The appropriate structure for working effectively – The structural considerations affirm and signify that there is a team. Included are the team name, team members’ roles, meeting space, support staff, logo, colors, theme song, motto, grip, plans – anything that provides the confirming structure or framework for the team’s work. This effective team structure is conducive to building trust and confidence.
2) Mutual purpose and ethic of accountability: Mission, Vision and Major Goals – Without a clear mutuality of purpose, there may be cooperation, but there will be no teamwork. The mutual purpose, or mission and vision, is the bull’s eye or focal point for the team. In a formal sense, this is about the team’s mission, vision, and goals. The mission is the difference the team intends to make in the lives of those it serves. The vision is the “future perfect” of mission: how it will be, for each of the stakeholders, when the mission is fully and competently operating. The mission is differentiating and directional. Vision is relational and inspiring. Together, mission and vision are two sides of a critically important coin for the team. Together, they give context to the key strategic goals of the team. This is the fuel for the teamwork. Dedication to mission, vision, and goals motivates accountability for each member of the team.
3) Interdependence and respectful conduct – This is the lubricant for the teamwork. Each member of the team has an understanding of the role and capabilities of the other team members and high regard for their potential. It is important for each member of the team to operate with respect toward one another. The basis of respect is being positively predisposed toward others (e.g., believing that they have value and the capability to do an outstanding job). It is uncommon for teams to operate with authentic respect, interdependently. Most teams – most businesses – operate with a culture of anxiety and apprehension, which inhibits insight and excellence. Respectful, interdependent, collaborative teamwork in a culture of emotional safety is fundamental for getting to insight routinely.
4) Keeping teamwork agreements for high performance – The world championship sports teams distinguish themselves from mediocre teams by consciously determining what agreements will be needed to achieve their goals, and then working to keep these high-performance teamwork agreements. This often embraces professional and personal development. The mediocre teams do only what is necessary, and that is not enough to truly excel.
5) Getting to insight, at will – The highly insightful team learns how to get to insight, and practices vigorously. Team members share the intensity of their research and inquisitive conversation and relax with good-natured humor. They consciously and skillfully strive for insight.
Whether you are the CEO or the workgroup leader, a team member or the chief talent officer … you can become the champion of insightful teamwork, which may be the greatest competitive advantage your organization can attain.