How to Foster a Culture that Creates Super Teams

  • — May 29, 2018

    How to Foster a Culture that Creates Super Teams

    mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

    Most of the leaders I’ve worked with have claimed that they encourage the growth and creation of super teams. They’ll go at length describing how empowered, highly engaged, talented and high achieving their teams are. However, the reality of day-to-day activities, coupled with disengaged and sometimes untalented workforce, often discourages and holds back teams from transcending into super teams. And if you ask me, that is precisely what’s holding companies back from becoming exponential organizations.

    However, if I were to say this to all these leaders, they’ll challenge my statement and retort with just how awesome their teams really are. I’m not doubting your assumption. I’m sure your teams are awesome and compromise of a group of amazingly talented people, however, are they really super teams? Let’s find out.

    1. Is Everyone In the Top Exceptional?

    When you look at the top of your organization’s pyramid, do you see exceptionally talented, united and highly intelligent people? Look closer. Can you describe everyone the same way? Are there any exceptions or is everyone (and I mean ‘everyone’) aligned to the organization’s massively transformative purpose? Not a single person in the top management should stand out as someone who’s just coming along for the ride. No. everyone has to be aligned, everyone has to be contributing and everyone has to be awesome! Ask yourself:

    • Is there any legacy employee who doesn’t really fit in with the culture or the team dynamics?
    • Is there any management team member who’s not aligned with the ideology of delegating work and building capacity in their teams?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you really need to resolve this before you can truly build a culture that harvests super teams.

    2. Are People Simply There to Work?

    When productivity is low your thought as a leader is to have everyone working ‘all the time’. Sure the more hours everyone spends working could possibly mean more output and more work being done, however, that could very easily kill productivity altogether. Quite the contrary of what you were aiming for right?

    What you need is a balance, and for that communal areas are important to have in the workplace. It may seem trivial at first, however, having ‘spots’ in the office what encourages people to communicate, mingle and get to know each other are great ways of getting to know people and establishing deeper professional relationships. Ask yourself:

    • Are the office lunch rooms and policies designed to encourage cross-functional interactions?
    • Are there sufficient extra-curricular activities in the office that encourage people to loosen up and have fun together?

    Your aim to build synergies across the board. So keep that in mind when you answer the above questions.

    3. Are You Hiring In Haste?

    Line managers highly dislike vacancies in their team. It burdens the rest of the team and they prefer to use their HR budgets if they have the allocations. Similarly, HR professionals often have KPIs tagged to their performance on how long a vacancy was open for. Put these two together and you’re cooking up a batch of “urgent hires” that often are “wrong hires”. To really create super teams you need to promote the culture of hiring the right people ‘all the time’. No exceptions, whatsoever. Ask yourself:

    • How often in the past 6 months did you fill a vacancy with a candidate who wasn’t the best cultural fit or the most talented candidate?
    • How many new hires left the organization within their first 3 months of joining?

    If you’re serious about hiring the right talent all the time, check out how you can revamp your recruitment process through gamification.

    4. Are You Working With Robots?

    No, I’m not talking about automation. I’m talking about the people who you work with. Is working with them like working with robots, i.e. devoid of feelings and emotions? If it is, then you’re really going to have a hard time creating super teams in your organization. I understand the need to differentiate between personal and professional life, however, when you’re spending more time in the office than at home it’s practically impossible not to connect with your colleagues in some form of personal level. That’s what being ‘human’ is all about. And why it’s equally important to, as humans, to foster a culture of growth, unity, harmony and shared purposes. Ask yourself:

    • Does your management team understand their teams’ personal desires, aspirations, motivators, weaknesses and dependencies?
    • Do people in your organization feel they have someone in the workplace who can guide them, personally or professionally?

    Remember you’re not just trying to get the job done. Your aim as an exponential leader is to transform people into the best versions of themselves.

    So do you really have a culture that fosters the creation of super teams or were you assuming you did and may need to work on a few areas? Well, it’s not too late and it’s definitely not over yet. Are there any interesting things you’ve incorporated into your workplace culture that helps you create super teams? Do share them in the comments below.

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    Author: Paul Keijzer

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