Summary & Method(s):

James Surowiecki says it well in his book, The Wisdom of Crowds: “Under certain circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” Teams do not need to be led by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be effective decision-makers. Teams need rules to maintain order and coherence, communication, and the ability (and willingness) to learn from one another.

Many team-development opportunities and trainings are wasted because they are not tied into an organization’s stated and measurable outcomes. For teams to function at a baseline level of efficacy, they need to be aligned with the following characteristics:

  • Purpose: Members know why the team exists and are invested in accomplishing its mission and goals.
  • Priorities: In order to achieve the purpose, members understand what needs to be done next, by whom, and by when.
  • Roles: Members know what their roles are and how those roles interact in cross-functioning teams within the organization, as well as how those roles act as representatives for the organization in the outside world.
  • Decisions: Decision-making styles and how those styles are implemented and by whom are clearly understood and adhered to by leaders and team members.
  • Conflict: Conflict is dealt with in a transparent fashion, preserving the dignity of individuals. It is understood that healthy conflict can be an important factor in coming up with the best decisions.
  • Norms: Group norms for working together are set and seen as standards for everyone in the group.
  • Effectiveness: Members find team meetings efficient and productive, and look forward to both time working together and time working alone.
  • Success and Failure: Members know clearly when the team has met with success and share in this equally and with pride. They also recognize systemic influences and personal accountability when goals and outcomes are not satisfactorily achieved.
  • Training: Opportunities for feedback and skill development are provided and taken advantage of.

Expect as a Client:

A coaching and/or training program that fits the immediate stresses and opportunities you and your team face. Cline Consulting and the appropriate person(s) within your organization specifically design leadership and team-development trainings. Evaluative processes and follow-up are critical components of such designs.